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A New York Times Bestseller
Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring Tracy Chevalier makes her first fictional foray into the American past in The Last Runaway, bringing to life the Underground Railroad and illuminating the principles, passions, and realities that fueled this extraordinary freedom movement.
In Chevalier’s newest historical saga, she introduces Honor Bright, a modest English Quaker who moves to Ohio in 1850, only to find herself alienated and alone in a strange land. Sick from the moment she leaves England, and fleeing personal disappointment, she is forced by family tragedy to rely on strangers in a harsh, unfamiliar landscape.
Nineteenth-century America is practical, precarious, and unsentimental, and scarred by the continuing injustice of slavery. In her new home Honor discovers that principles count for little, even within a religious community meant to be committed to human equality.
However, drawn into the clandestine activities of the Underground Railroad, a network helping runaway slaves escape to freedom, Honor befriends two surprising women who embody the remarkable power of defiance. Eventually she must decide if she too can act on what she believes in, whatever the personal costs.
A powerful journey brimming with color and drama, The Last Runaway is Tracy Chevalier’s vivid engagement with an iconic part of American history.
© 2013 by Tracy Chevalier
“A rich, well-researched novel.”
“Chevalier...has accomplished something...emotionally riveting...The protagonist’s vividly human individuality makes the author’s pitch-perfect set piece about our nation’s (ongoing) growing pains irresistible.”
“A powerful journey brimming with color and drama, The Last Runaway is Tracy Chevalier’s vivid engagement with an iconic part of American history.”
“Haunting...[A] thought-provoking, lyrical novel.”Publishers Weekly
“Chevalier’s writing continues to have that can’t-put-it-down quality, and her change in settings from Europe to ninteenth-century frontier America is a welcome one. Highly recommended.”
Library Journal (starred review)