THE LAST RUNAWAY, by Tracy Chevalier

1850 middle America. Emigrating from the gentle, cultivated, civilized hills of western England to the flat, forested, threatening plains of Ohio, young Quaker Honor Bright accompanies her betrothed sister to a new life. Honor has been jilted, and knows happiness in England is over; going with her sister is an impulsive decision. But the mere physical change in surroundings is nothing compared to the other changes the gentle, self-effacing Quaker must face, for Oberlin, Ohio is one of the major way-stations on the Underground Railroad, and she is soon swept into protecting runaway slaves trying to reach Canada and safety. This brings Honor and her new family into conflict; there's more to risk than just helping a runaway. Click here for more...
In addition to family, opposing her is the rough, violent slave catcher Donovan. His sister Belle owns a milliners shop in a small town near Oberlin where Honor first seeks refuge from a disaster. (No spoiler! Read the book!) As is usual with a Tracy Chevalier novel, there is a little theme that runs through the story, and this time it's quilts. Honor is a marvelous needleworker, which helps to give her life form and comfort, and the reader an fascinating thread (pun!) for intimate quotidian details that are one of Chevalier's trademarks. A 5 for this superlative author.

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