Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Finishing Becca: A Story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold” as Want to Read:
Finishing Becca: A Story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Finishing Becca: A Story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,359 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
An independent-minded young maid tells the story of social-climber Peggy Shippen and how she influenced Benedict Arnold’s betrayal of the Patriot forces. Revolutionary Philadelphia is brought to life as Becca seeks to find her “missing pieces” while exploring the complicated issues of the war between the impoverished independence men and the decadent British Tories. “This ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Finishing Becca, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Finishing Becca

Johnny Tremain by Esther ForbesMy Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln CollierThe Turncoat by Donna ThorlandRise to Rebellion by Jeff ShaaraChains by Laurie Halse Anderson
American Revolutionary War Fiction
14th out of 99 books — 149 voters
A Break with Charity by Ann RinaldiThe Fifth of March by Ann RinaldiFinishing Becca by Ann RinaldiCast Two Shadows by Ann RinaldiThe Secret of Sarah Revere by Ann Rinaldi
Best Ann Rinaldi Books
3rd out of 30 books — 13 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,174)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kathryn
Jul 07, 2014 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, american-history
3.75 STARS

I haven't read Rinaldi since my early teens (Time Enough for Drums seemed SO thrilling and romantic at the time!) and I'm not sure if this book just wasn't as good as some of those I read back then, or if I wasn't as wowed because I have read some truly great authors since then and Rinaldi just doesn't quite hold up.

That said, this was still a very enjoyable and fast read that held my interest and she did a fine job of incorporating fact with fiction. At times the theme of Becca needi
...more
رابعة الدلالي
Oct 20, 2015 رابعة الدلالي rated it it was amazing
am I in love with this novel? Yes indeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed ...

It's simply an amzaing historical novel ... Omi bought me the book and I wasn't encouraged to read it as it deals with one of the issues that I hate the most "THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION" (it's not the occasion to tell u how much I hate their talks about their fight for independence when they occupy others ) But I picked the book and started reading it just cos Omi asked me to do so ( she did it really kindly ) ... and there is the surprise
...more
Bronwyn
This book has everything I love in Ann Rinaldi's books. History, intrigue, interesting characters, and then her author's note telling you what's true or not. Really great. Will have to reread some others here soon.
Ann
I LOVED me some Ann Rinaldi when I was twelve, and I bought this book during that obsession, yet never read it due to my freakish book organization rules. I thought that she did a great job of making history accessible to younger readers, without talking down to them (she gives a glossary of lesser-known historical terms at the end of the book instead). Since the main character is always the same age as the intended reader, it makes it easy for us to understand and relate to a person that could ...more
Isabel Jacobs
Jun 11, 2011 Isabel Jacobs rated it liked it
Becca Syng is a clever girl on the quest to find her "missing pieces." When her mother sends her to the Philidelphia home of the Shippens, a wealthy Quaker family, to be "finished," Becca begins to think that she is meant to live like they do, surrounded by riches. Yet as the servant to Peggy Shippen, a spoiled, pretty daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Shippen, Becca realizes that the life of the wealthy isn't how it looks on the outside. Peggy is constantly manipulating her parents for everything they c ...more
Shoshanah
Apr 08, 2011 Shoshanah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finishing Becca takes place during the American Revolution in Philadelphia. The title refers to how Becca's mother sends Becca to be a maid in the Shippen household to help her find her missing peices and become a finished woman. While in the household she becomes aquianted with General Benedict Arnold.

From elementary school I know who the traitor Benedict Arnold is. But while I knew we betrayed the American to the British, I wasn't sure the details of the event. By the end of the book I can't s
...more
Caroline
Jun 02, 2014 Caroline rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, fiction
When my 5th grade son brought this book home as his reading group assignment, I found the story so interesting that I asked to borrow a copy so that I could read along. Initially, I found fictionalized story of Becca Syng, a lady's maid to Peggy Shippen during the American Revolutionary War, to be fairly compelling. But after awhile, about the time that Peggy turned coat to court Benedict Arnold, the story seemed to fall flat, with little historical detail and even less insight into Becca's inne ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 22, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was amazing
This is subtitled A Story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold, as told from Becca's viewpoint. The book has 25 chapter and an epilogue, but the first 14 chapters have nothing to do with Benedict Arnold. They are the story of how Becca left her farm and began working as a maid/companion for Peggy Shippen, a very spoiled, very selfish, very demanding girl with other sisters.


The story is taking place during the Revolutionary War and shows how there were differences of opinion in the towns about
...more
Rebecca Radnor
The book is based on historical events and written in two parts, first the British occupation of Philadelphia when Peggy Shippen a local beauty becomes close friends with the British commander John André, and second, when the Patriots retake the city and Peggy meets and marries Benedict Arnold, and then Arnold's ultimate betrayal of the patriots with André hung as a spy for helping Arnold in his attempt to surrender West Point to the British. (If this is a spoiler for you than, I'm sorry, but yo ...more
Annabel ♥
This review can also be found on Leopard Kitty Books, http://leopardkittybooks.blogspot.com . :)

The day I bought this book was one of those days that I kept staring and staring at the YA section of the bookstore and every book looked the same and none of them interesting. Usually I just can't get enough of YA books but that day I was looking for something new, something different from the books that I usually read. Well I was right. This book was certainly different from most of the books I have
...more
Jessica
Sep 19, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 13 And Up
A fascinating story, told from Becca's point of view, a maid to Peggy Shippen...predestined wife of Benedict Arnold, the traitor to the United States of America during the American War for Independence. I LOVE this book!!

Here's a Snopsis that I found on Amazon.com by Bethany:

Fourteen year old Becca Syng feels like pieces of her are missing. So when her mother secures her a job as a maidservant in return for lessons in french, dancing, and needlepoint, she believes that it will help her find hers
...more
Honoré
Apr 06, 2008 Honoré added it
Recommends it for: people 12 and over
I just finished reading the book "Finishing Becca: A story about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold" by Ann Rinaldi, for my Women’s History Month project. "Finishing Becca" takes place during the Revolutionary War. It is about a fourteen year-old girl named Becca Syng who becomes a maidservant for Peggy Shippen, a beautiful, wealthy and spoiled Quaker daughter. Her mom sends her to work for Peggy Shippen in hopes that Becca will receive a finishing education and find her “missing pieces.” Peggy S ...more
Caroline
Jun 05, 2014 Caroline rated it it was amazing
i found this book rather hard to follow, yet quite compelling. It was interesting and gave you a sense of both Becca and Peggy's personalities. I love this book over all, it makes you feel like you are Becca Syng. I dont understand why Becca's mother married Henry though, he's a double agent and is almost never sober (or at least sane).
Kate
Aug 16, 2014 Kate rated it liked it
Another excellent historical YA fiction from Rinaldi. I think the ending was a bit abrupt & contrived though - with Becca essentially summarising the conclusion in her chat to the milk cow. It would have been nice to draw out the final chapter of this into a longer section -- when she returns to learn the running of the farm, digest her time in town, a bit more about the wider war going on, and how she grows to love Frazor.
Whitney
Oct 15, 2014 Whitney rated it it was ok
I expected this book to be much more interesting than it was. The main character Becca didn't have much of a personality, and the rest of the characters were very one-dimensional. I thought a story about one of America's most infamous traitors would be more exciting, but not so much.
Rebekah
Suggested to me by Hannah. A book you don't want to put down. It does have a few sections to skip over. I really enjoy fictional history. This one did not disappoint.
Emma Parker
OK, it was rather interesting, but by the end, it was like she accomplished nothing except watch Peggy lie, scam and cheat.
Jennifer Heise
It was an interesting take on the events, though it was rather too much ya-girl-ish for me to love it.
Tgirl
Jun 09, 2012 Tgirl rated it really liked it
I don't always enjoy Ann Rinaldi's writing, but this one I really enjoyed (it wasn't as good as GIRL IN BLUE, of course). I even had a favorite quote: "And at night, just before I close my eyes, when I am in that limbo of half sleep, I see Peggy. I hear her gown rustling. And I hear her voice. 'Well, you've finished yourself now, Becca, haven't you?' And even half asleep, I murmur, 'No, Peggy, no. Because there's one thing I've learned above all. No one is ever finished. Are you?'"
Of course, you
...more
Tracy
Jul 31, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still a great book. It does a good job of showing the Revolutionary War from the Mid Atlantic states' point of view. The best part is before Peggy Shippen marries Arnold. In this section, Rinaldi creates a complicated and interesting cast of characters. However, in the second section Becca, the servant girl for Peggy, starts oddly telling the future and what not. She has "a feeling" that Arnold is evil etc. Still, a great book reccomended for the high school or even college aged in order to get ...more
Sandra Strange
Becca Syng goes into the Quaker Shippen household as Peggy Shippen’s lady’s maid to escape her harsh stepfather and to be “finished,” to learn the graces befitting a lady. She also wants to “finish” herself, since she feels like part of her is missing, an important part. She is embroiled in Peggy’s life, from her tumultuous romance with a British officer to her courtship, then marriage to Benedict Arnold. Becca witnesses the results of the marriage, momentous to American history, and to Becca’s ...more
Megan
Feb 08, 2016 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book about Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold, and about how hard it was to take sides during the Revolutionary War. I thought the parts about Becca "finding pieces of herself" became annoying.
Sydney
Nov 29, 2013 Sydney rated it really liked it
Another book on the revolution war. I love this time period. It makes for great stories. This book focused on the life of Peggy and the part in the betrayal of Benedict Arnold, through the eye's of Becca, Peggy's personal maid. I really loved Becca, and was really shocked at learning how the high class of the 1700's acted. Peggy was a brat, but a smart one.

So, my rating is more like 4.5. Almost five stars, but not quite five stars.
Marné Yates
Feb 18, 2012 Marné Yates rated it really liked it
I just love, love, love this book. I definitely consider it one of Ann Rinaldi's best. I feel like I'm in the story, walking the stairs and running my fingers through the satin dresses. Rinaldi does an amazing job of tying actual events into the life of an imaginary girl, and in the end, the reader is left wishing that she were real.

Warnings: The shameful act of kissing a girl in the middle of the street, in broad daylight.
Regina
May 22, 2012 Regina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-childhood
I love Ann Rinaldi's books. Her historical afterwords are always interesting and contain further information on the non-fictional subjects. Her stories are well written and plotted. I selected this one to add to my reads first since it's set in Philadelphia. I love how the contrast is shown between Peggy Shippen's life during the British occupation and after, and her struggle to maintain her social standing.
Amy
Dec 13, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
Ann Rinaldi is the one to read for early American historical fiction. She is very good with her research, and is very prolific! Choose a person or subject (Did Thomas Jefferson father a child by one of his slaves? to The Salem Witch trials) and she has probably written a book about it. Most of them can be found in the teen section, but don't let that turn you off.
Madeleine
Aug 01, 2010 Madeleine rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I liked this book. A nice, light read, filled with Peggy Shippen's delicious cattiness and general ignorance about the suffering world around her. Very interesting as Ann Rinaldi explores yet another side of the Revolution, the side seemingly left unaffected by the war, a side which inspires to feelings, one of near sympathy and one of disgust.
Suzanne
Aug 09, 2012 Suzanne rated it liked it
I found this in my daughter's room while cleaning out her book case and thought I would read it. A sweet read about a girl, whose mother sent her to live with a wealthy family because they were too poor to send Becca to a finishing school. It is her story as she became educated by the family in so many more ways than her mother had anticipated.
Jessica N.
Jan 12, 2009 Jessica N. rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book immensely! It was my "waiting" book - I kept it in the car and whenever I had to wait somewhere, I read it. I enjoy historical fiction and this one was very good. Well written. I've never studied Benedict Arnold and his wife before, and this was a good introduction.
Kati
May 25, 2011 Kati rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-youngadult
An interesting fiction account of Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold, told from the point of view of her maid, Becca Syng. I didn't really know much about Benedict Arnold before reading this book so it was kind of interesting. The author's note at the end was interesting as well.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 72 73 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
What age were you when you read Ann Rinadi's books? 1 3 Oct 05, 2012 02:58PM  
  • Just Jane: A Daughter of England Caught in the Struggle of the American Revolution
  • Sarah Bishop
  • The Dreamer, Volume 2
  • Beyond the Burning Time
  • Five 4ths of July
  • Guns for General Washington: A Story of the American Revolution
  • Tituba of Salem Village
  • Journal Of William Thomas Emerson, A Revolutionary War Patriot (My Name Is America)
  • North by Night: A Story of the Underground Railroad
  • The Winter of Red Snow: The Revolutionary War Diary of Abigail Jane Stewart, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, 1777 (Dear America)
  • Soldier's Secret: The Story of Deborah Sampson
  • The Star Fisher
  • The Hollow Tree
  • The Wind Blows Backward
  • Katherine: Heart of Freedom (Hearts and Dreams, #1)
  • Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers
  • Two Girls of Gettysburg
  • Stowaway
11162
Ann Rinaldi (b. August 27, 1934, in New York City) is a young adult fiction author. She is best known for her historical fiction, including In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, An Acquaintance with Darkness, A Break with Charity, and Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. She has written a total of forty novels, eight of which were listed as notable by the ALA. In 2000, Wolf by the Ears was lis ...more
More about Ann Rinaldi...

Share This Book