A pretty solid work of historical fiction. In this novel, Chevalier tells the story of Honor Bright, a Quaker woman who, after being jilted by her fiancé in England decides to accompany her sister, Grace, to America to help Grace adjust to he upcoming marriage and impending life as a pioneer woman. Tragedy strikes however, and Honor finds herself alone in a strange country, depended on the kindness of stagers in 1850s Ohio. As a Quaker in England, Honor had always been taught that it was wrong to hold another person in bondage, but in American she learns the bitter truth and how very little in life is black and white.
Chevalier does an amazing job crafter her characters and while the narrative may fall short at times, her prose and style make up for it. Honor Bright is a sympathetic character and it is hard not to take her side as she is determined to help runaway slaves even though her new husband’s family forbids her to do so. Chevalier also does a fantastic job setting the scene for the novel painting Ohio as a wild and untamed place juxtaposed with the rigid structure of a Quaker community.
I found this book an absolute joy to read and fans of Chevalier’s work will not be disappointed.