Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (44/81)

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
999 Challenge Category: Award Winners and Honors (National Book Award Finalist, 2008)

The year is 1776. Isabel's owner, Miss Finch, has died. She left a will freeing Isabel and her sister Ruth, but Miss Finch's nephew is in a hurry and the lawyer is in Boston -- unreachable given the current unrest. He sells the girls to a couple who live in New York. Upon arrival in her new home, Isabel meets Curzon, a fellow slave and Patriot who claims they can contact the lawyer if she'll spy for his side.

The narrative weaves a convincing tale in which even the side of liberty is not all that interested in the plight of slaves. Each chapter is titled by the dates it covers (which could be a day or nearly two months), followed by a quote from historical writing -- a letter, a journal entry -- that also highlights the exploration of liberty and justice in the Revolutionary War. I look forward to the sequel. 4.5 stars.

Cross-posted at Born Reader.

No comments: