Publisher: HarperCollins UK (HarperFiction/Blue Door)
Pub date: Jan 14 2013
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Honor Bright, sails from England with her sister Grace to find some escape from her heartache. On the way to their new life in America, Grace falls ills and dies, leaving Honor all alone in a strange new land. Now dependent on her sister’s fiance to take care of her, Honor must learn a new way of life.
But life in Ohio in the 1850s is not easy. The landscape is vast and open, the weather is hot and Ohio is part of the Underground Railway. While the Quakers oppose slavery in theory, they dare not defy the law and help the slaves escapade. Honor has to come to terms with this contrast between her beliefs and the reality of life in the midst of all this.
I just read Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with a Pearl Earring earlier this year, so when I got the chance to read this review copy, I wanted to give it a try. I enjoyed Girl with a Pearl Earring since I love artistic historical fiction (that’s a genre I just made up) but it didn’t make as much of an impact as I expected. I have to say that The Last Runaway was much the same.
Honor’s story is compelling, and the backdrop of frontier America, the Quaker and the Underground Railway combined with the beautiful art of quilting were all engaging elements of the story. But Honor herself didn’t shine too bright for me. Her travails as a young woman alone in a strange new land immediately won my sympathy, but the story moved along rather slowly. She is also a hard character to take for a long time. The character that I liked the most was Belle, the milliner. She was a strong, unconventional woman who lived her life the way she wanted.
On the whole, I liked The Last Runaway, but it’s not one of those stories that stayed/will stay with me.
An enjoyable, slow read with a lot of description on the art of quilting.
*See my Rating policy
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