The Last Runaway

The Last Runaway New York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier makes her first fictional foray into the American past in The Last Runaway bringing to life the Underground Railroad and

New York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier makes her first fictional foray into the American past in The Last Runaway, bringing to life the Underground Railroad and illuminating the principles, passions and realities that fueled this extraordinary freedom movement In New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier s newest historicalNew York Times bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier makes her first fictional foray into the American past in The Last Runaway, bringing to life the Underground Railroad and illuminating the principles, passions and realities that fueled this extraordinary freedom movement In New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape Nineteenth century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality However, drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, Honor befriends two surprising women who embody the remarkable power of defiance Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs A powerful journey brimming with color and drama, The Last Runaway is Tracy Chevalier s vivid engagement with an iconic part of American history.

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The Last Runaway

  1. Born 19 October 1962 in Washington, DC Youngest of 3 children Father was a photographer for The Washington Post.Childhood Nerdy Spent a lot of time lying on my bed reading Favorite authors back then Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madeleine L Engle, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Joan Aiken, Susan Cooper, Lloyd Alexander Book I would have taken to a desert island Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery.Education BA in English, Oberlin College, Ohio, 1984 No one was surprised that I went there I was made for such a progressive, liberal place in creative writing, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England, 1994 There s a lot of debate about whether or not you can be taught to write Why doesn t anyone ask that of professional singers, painters, dancers That year forced me to write all the time and take it seriously.Geography Moved to London after graduating from Oberlin in 1984 I had studied for a semester in London and thought it was a great place, so came over for fun, expecting to go back to the US after 6 months to get serious I m still in London, and still not entirely serious Even have dual citizenship though I keep the American accent intact.Family 1 English husband 1 English son 1 tortoiseshell cat.Career Before writing, was a reference book editor, working on encyclopedias about writers Yup, still nerdy Learned how to research and how to make sentences better Eventually I wanted to fix my own sentences rather than others , so I quit and did the MA.Writing Talked a lot about becoming a writer as a kid, but actual pen to paper contact was minimal Started writing short stories in my 20s, then began first novel, The Virgin Blue, during the MA year With Girl With a Pearl Earring written in 1998 , I became a full time writer, and have since juggled it with motherhood

774 Reply to “The Last Runaway”

  1. Oh, Why does thee not allow for a half star rating If thy did, I would give this book a solid 2.5 star rating For the cover art, I would give thy a 5 star rating But I digress Tracy Chevalier s latest book examines the Quakers role in the Underground Railroad during the mid 1800s We see this time period through the eyes of one Honor Bright, a recent emigrate from England Honor is a twenty year old who like most twenty somethings finds it is one thing to profess moral ideals and quite another to [...]

  2. A Quaker girl from England landed up in Faithwell, Ohio, 1850, right in the middle of the Underground Railroad s path Heartsick and homesick, Honor Haymaker struggled to wrap her mind around the slavery laws of America and the way it was applied in the northern states Milking cows, sewing quilts, making hay, bottling the bounty of summer for the harsh uncompromising winters, tapping maple trees for syrup, making cheese, obeying her mother in law, and being a good wife, drained her from everythin [...]

  3. Simply put, this is one of the BEST historical novels I have ever read.The plot After being jilted by her fiance in England, Quaker woman Honor Bright decides to accompany her sister Grace to America and help Grace adjust to her upcoming marriage and impending life as a pioneer woman But when tragedy befalls them, Honor finds herself alone in a strange country, dependent on the kindness of strangers and trying to learn the customs of 1850s Ohio still a rough and wild place Further, she has much [...]

  4. This novel was enjoyable enough However, reading it gives one a sensation of floating atop the story nothing pulls a person in or attaches itself to the reader s emotions The story is just too light The first hundred pages are largely given over to quilting patterns and sewing techniques, which is fine enough if one has a taste for such thorough narrations of domestique intricacies but a reader choosing this book based on the cover description would be disappointed It leaves one to believe that [...]

  5. Honor Bright follows her sister Grace over to America in 1850 She crosses the sea in the Adventurer and makes her slow way to Faithwell, Ohio She meets despair and tragedy along the way and quickly finds herself in an uncomfortable situation almost as quickly as she arrives Honor is a Quaker and lives within her community of Friends She finds that Faithwell is a stop for runaway slaves from the South on their North Star path to Oberlin and onto Canada I enjoyed each chapter ended with a letter e [...]

  6. I am trying to figure out today what made this book so unputdownable last night I was up reading it until I finished at 3am and the only thing I can come up with is the character of Honor Bright She is such a sympathetic character and I wanted to know what happened to her.The Last Runaway is the story of Honor Bright, a young Quaker woman who leaves England to escape an unpleasant past that is not of her own doing, and her attempt to fit into the American society in a small town in Ohio There ar [...]

  7. I did not like this as much as I thought I would I like Chevalier, I like Historical Fiction, and I adore books of this period That s why the book gets a three star rating from me, but it leans towards the lower end of the 3 The book s weakness to me is the wishy washy main character Honor Bright She drifts along with events, believes in Silence so much that she doesn t seem to have any thoughts, and above all she didn t make me believe that she was sincere Honor Bright is an English Quaker, who [...]

  8. Tracy Chevalier is so skilled at getting under the skin of the protagonist in a specific period whether it s a 19th century fossil collector or a 15th century Belgian weaver, you always believe her Honor Bright is a real person from page 1 of The Last Runaway and you are rooting for her The book tackles a difficult subject the rights and wrongs of helping escaping slaves, and the moral issue this poses for Ohio s Quakers Honor struggles to understand this sometimes frightening new country with i [...]

  9. Oy I ve enjoyed a couple of Chevalier s other works many years ago They are light, interesting, fun books to read listen to The artistic side of the story adds appeal and interest for me, as I enjoy crafting and the arts, etc This story, however, seems to miss all the marks The characters seem flat Honore is too na ve, despite her sheltered upbringing She is acting on convictions that we, the readers, can t believe she hasor, if she has them, where she got them from She shakes at an unkind word, [...]

  10. After being spurned by her fianc in 1850s England, Quaker Honor Bright accompanies her sister Grace to Ohio, where Grace is to be married Soon Honor must fend for herself Feeling unwelcomed by her sister s fiance and his sister in law, Honor marries a local Quaker man and moves to his family s farm, where she also feels unwanted Against their wishes, Honor becomes involved in assisting runaway slaves This book was just good enough to keep me reading, but Honor was so judgmental and priggish that [...]

  11. I m not good at doing plot summaries in my reviews, because I m always afraid I ll give too much away That being said, I ve never read this author, but had the recommendation after reading Mrs Lincoln s Dressmaker I cannot STAND people trying to tell me what I should read to understand slavery, history, etc I ll make people mad, but I m thinking about Oprah s book recommendations But, I often take stands on issues or say I would ve taken a stand had I lived in fill in the blank erabut who really [...]

  12. This was such a well written book it s hard to know where to start Fabulous characters set against the backdrop of the beginning of the end of slavery Honor Bright the main character, brings us on a journey of her emigration to America, her religion as a Quaker and her battle to please her new family in the continuing injustice of slavery There are other really strong characters on both sides on the divide during this powerful episode in American history It covers the underground railway and the [...]

  13. I ve been an admirer of Tracy Chevalier s novels, especially Girl with a Pearl Earring and Remarkable Creatures, so I looked forward to this novel Unfortunately, I was disappointed this book is not of the caliber I ve come to expect from this author.The novel is set in the 1850s in Ohio Honor Bright, a Quaker, leaves England after being jilted and finds herself in Ohio where she struggles to adapt to a new life She becomes involved in the Underground Railroad despite the objections of her husban [...]

  14. I really enjoyed this story of Honor Bright great name The letters written home painted a picture of the isolation Honor felt in her spirit When questioned about what she liked and her answer said she found lightning bugs cheerful and welcoming it was a clear word picture of her solitude that went beyond the silent times at church.I appreciated the description of Honor s realization of the background of the cotton fabric that she used She had always loved fabric, admiring the weaves and patterns [...]

  15. Great book My third book in as many months on the subject of slavery.Here we have young Honour Bright and her sister Grace who are English Quakers Honour is let down by her suitor who marries someone else outside of the faith When Grace decides to follow her young man and join him in Ohio Honour goes too Due to fever Honour is left alone in a strange country where the Quakers condemn slavery whilst living amongst it Her own principles do not allow her to turn away runaways as many of the America [...]

  16. From the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring, I was expecting a good historical read and I wasn t disappointed Set in Ohio in the 1850s, the novel tells the story of Honour Bright, a Quaker, who leaves England and travels to the New World accompanying her sister Grace who is to be married However, tragedy strikes and leaves her alone in an unfamiliar land where she must depend on the kindness of strangers.She joins a Quaker community there, marries and is known for her quilting abili [...]

  17. This is the story of Englishwoman Honor Bright who joins her to be wed sister, Grace, to voyage across the ocean and settle in Ohio Grace dies from yellow fever on the journey from New York to Ohio leaving Honor, unexpected with Grace s intended as well as his newly widowed sister in law The town of Faithwell, Ohio is a peaceful and unwelcoming Quaker town The Quaker leaders are uncomfortable with Adam Cox Grace s fiancee living with two single women so encourage him to marry Abigail Honor is th [...]

  18. THE LAST RUNAWAY In 1850, Honor Bright, an English Quaker, accompanied her sister, Grace, to the United States Grace is to be married to a man from their hometown who is now living near Oberlin, Ohio Honor was to have been married in England, but the wedding was cancelled When she arrives, her plans abruptly changed and she finds herself having to depend on strangers The unfamiliar landscape and different lifestlyle cause her much distress, even when she finds a home in a Quaker community While [...]

  19. The protagonist Honor Bright is a very principled Quaker She is surrounded by other Quakers all of whom are opposed to slavery Yet not all of them are willing to act on their principles I feel that this is the central theme of The Last Runaway Why are so many people afraid or unwilling to take a stand Should they be judged for their inaction When it comes to an important issue such as slavery, there were consequences for both action and inaction which are fully illustrated in this book.I found t [...]

  20. OMGOSH I absolutely loved this story of a young Quaker girl named Honor Bright who journeys from England to Ohio to start her life anew I was enthralled by this story and it s characters Tracy Chevalier captured the voices of The Old South with the hope of the runaway slaves Honor encounters seeking freedom, to Honor Bright s inner turmoil learning the ways of a new country she does not understand It was very descriptive and heartfelt This one earns a place among my Favorites List

  21. Nota corect 3.8Un singur lucru am de spus Dac a bea un shot de fiecare dat c nd a citi cuv ntul matale, m a face praf Iar eu sunt din Moldova.

  22. I d give this book a 3.5, were it possible, but a 4 would be a stretch The reason for my markdown is not because of the story, nor even the characters or imagery, all of which I found perfectly compelling, but because I couldn t believe that the publisher let this book go to press in its current state The accumulation of flaws, which were purely technical, gave the book the feel of a second draft with great potential.1 Call me particular, but the number of be verbs per page not to mention the op [...]

  23. Though Chevalier is quite adept at the art of description, I feel it kills the pacing in this book It was not until about page 180 that I truly became engaged in Honor s struggle, as the larger issue of slavery was interesting to me than quilt or bonnet details Additionally, I found Chevalier s use of language perplexing and seemingly inaccurate at times Thee is the informal version of you used long ago , but is the object form For example, The bell tolls for thee However, Chevalier uses thee i [...]

  24. Tracy Chevalier is one of my favourite authors and she has a way of making history come alive in her novels which have subjects as diverse as Vermeer and fossils In The Last Runaway she switches her focus to America, in particular 1850s Ohio where the young English Quaker, Honor Bright starts a new life very different to her quiet upbringing in Dorset, England.It is a time of great upheaval in America as the country inches towards civil war with a variety of runaways, both black slaves and white [...]

  25. L argomento sarebbe anche stato interessante, ovvero un pezzo di storia americana, attorno al 1850, narrata da una quacchera, giunta da poco nel nuovo paese dall Inghilterra, che, come i suoi correligionari in generale, contraria alla schiavit e si adopera per favorire la fuga delle persone di colore verso il Canada, scontrandosi per questo motivo sia con la legge, sia con la famiglia del marito Tuttavia, il tenore della narrazione piuttosto inconsistente, ripetitivo, monotono, superficiale e po [...]

  26. LAST RUNAWAYTracy ChevalierThis wonderful novel begins in 1850 when a modest English Quaker named Honor Bright leaves England fleeing personal problems On the very difficult journey she is forced by tragedy to rely on strangers in this rugged, harsh and unfamiliar land.Nineteenth century America is scarred by the injustice of slavery, and Honor s principles are sorely tested by a community supposedly commited to human equality Drawn into the Underground Railroad she encounters two commited, stro [...]

  27. This book really struck a chord with me, nostalgia for my Gran s quilts and canning Chevalier creates an interesting and original point of view with Honor Bright, an English Quaker transplanted to Oberlin, Ohio and the tail end of the underground railroad The runaway slaves are in the background but unobtrusively command attention, seemingly mirroring the historical fact of the tension and morality faced by those seeking freedom Well done

  28. Gostei bastante deste livro Conta nos a hist ria de uma rapariga que viaja de Inglaterra para a Am rica numa altura em que a escravatura ainda existia mas j existiam muitas opini es no sentido de acabar com ela e auxiliar os escravos que fugiam dos seus donos para poderem chegar a s tios onde pudessem ser livres

  29. 3.5 4 El argumento me tuvo muy enganchada y lo termin en 2 d as La ambientaci n me gust much simo y me situ perfectamente para comprender el per odo hist rico y los temas que se tratan Ohio 1850, ferrocarril subterr neo, esclavitud, Quakers Aunque algunas cosas con los personajes no acabaron de cuajar, me dej con ganas de leer m s cosas de la autora.

  30. Usually when a reader gives a book a 5 star rating, it s not so much that the book was flawless, but that it struck that particular reader s individual sweetspot This book did that for me.Now, on to why this book is incredible It s the story of Quaker girl Honor Bright ah that s such a great name who leaves England in the 1850 s, and through a series of mishaps and apathies winds up in Ohio, misplaced but accepted into a Quaker community This is what is special about this book The twists and tur [...]

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