Plot Summary: As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, are still sold to a New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.
I’m not a big historical fiction fan, but I’m a fan of Laurie Halse Anderson. So when CHAINS was nominated for the National Book Award, I bumped it up on my TBR pile.
I like history, but it’s usually presented in such a dry fashion that it can’t keep my interest. Not so with CHAINS. From page one, this story had me riveted. It’s an honest account of the time of the Revolution. It doesn’t paint all the Patriots in rosy colors, nor all the Loyalists as evil monsters. They were just people with different preferences and backgrounds.
Same with the slavery. It wasn’t just in the south; it was everywhere. Not all slaves are innocent victims, and not all slave owners are vicious monsters. Anderson has built this world through the most amazing way of Showing that I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s so good that I didn’t even notice how much she was showing me the first time through. I had to go through the book again, and then I was blown away. Fantastic.
This book is amazing, and I highly recommend picking it up right now. But, I warn you, you won’t be able to put it down...