The Last Runaway – Tracy Chevalier

The Last Runaway


HarperCollins Publishers Ltd

New Books Magazine

My Rating - 4.5 stars

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 settlers, trying to forge a better life for themselves.  Honor finds life hard as a single woman unaccustomed to the American way but she is aided by the flamboyant Belle Mills, a milliner, who takes Honor under her wing.  Belle’s brother, Donovan, sets his sights on Honor but his reputation as a dissolute slave hunter makes him an unlikely suitor.

Reminiscent of Gone with the Wind, this is a novel with strong female characters who use their wits to survive difficult times.  Those travelling the Underground Railway are not the only runaways in this well-researched and eloquently written novel.

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  1. Ellie says:

    I’m looking forward to this one, Remarkable Creatures is one of my all time faves.

  2. JoAnn says:

    Glad to hear you liked this one so much – I have an audio review copy that I’ll be starting soon.

  3. Teresa says:

    Ellie, I have loved all of her books so I was delighted to get a chance to review her latest. JoAnn, it will be interesting to hear what the audio book is like. With me a lot depends on the reader.

  4. Anne Cater says:

    I’m around 60 or so pages into this one and loving it so far. She amazes me with her diversity – so many very different subjects in her books, yet all are so well done.

  5. admin says:

    She’s meticulous with her research Anne and I love how she champions strong female characters.

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