The Last Runaway, by Tracy Chevalier

runaway The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier. I have read other books from Ms. Chevalier and was impressed by her ability to build a sense of time and place and highlight the various struggles women have faced. I was intrigued when I saw that The Last Runaway was a 2013 Ohioana Book Award winner for fiction set in Ohio. As with other titles from Chevalier, you learn a little about quilting along the way. Who knew how important a collection of handmade quilts were for young women looking to marry? The plot revolves around Honor Bright, a Quaker from England, who traveled to Oberlin, Ohio with her sister. When her dear sister dies on route, Honor is forced to rely on strangers in the harsh landscape of 1850 Ohio. She meets a suitable Quaker man; they marry and live at his family’s farm, on the outskirts of town. Almost immediately, Honor becomes aware of runaways navigating their way north in the woods adjacent to the farm. Her upbringing and religious beliefs compel her to join the Underground Railroad network to help runaway slaves escape to freedom. However, her new family strongly objects due to the new Fugitive Slave Act. She is forbidden to help more slaves, but is moved time and again to assist them. Her efforts do not go unnoticed, forcing Honor to make tough decisions about her marriage, her faith and her personal safety. I hope you enjoy this one as much as I.

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