The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier (2013)
Tracy Chevalier is one of the authors I will continue to pick up, no matter what she has written, and she did not disappoint. I can't explain why, but this is the type of historical novels I really like. I could not say why Ian McEwan just didn't grab me as Chevalier does.
I understand this is the first time she has written about American history, having
I like filling in my knowledge of history with stories that help me understand details, how towns evolved, how the underground railroad worked as far north as Ohio. Having lived in Ohio for six years, I could relate to the descriptions of nature and places. I have had friends say they have attended Quaker meetings, but I learned more about their beliefs and practices through this story. But my favorite detail was about quilting. Honor was a great quilter, and she worked patchwork quilts rather than the applique quilts favored in the town she landed. She saved scraps of cloth from people important to her life to incorporate into her quilts. Of course I always like strong women who think for themselves, so it was a pleasure to watch this shy little girl from a thousand year old town in England blossom into a woman and an American who accepts change and its challenges.