Kelly's Reviews > Chains

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
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Dec 16, 08

bookshelves: young-adult

On the eve of the Revolutionary war, Isabel and her little sister Ruth are poised to be emancipated. Their dying Mistress Mary promised them their freedom upon her death, but when Mary’s uncaring brother comes to settle the estate, he instead sells Isabel and Ruth to a new family in New York City. The Locktons' prove cruel owners, and Isabel faces her worst nightmare– she and 5-year old Ruth are soon separated. Isabel struggles to maintain the overwhelming responsibilities of keeping house for the Locktons’ under the physical and emotional blows she’s been dealt. Chains is an absorbing novel about trust and betrayal, cruelty and kindness, and the steps one will take in the name of freedom. The details of daily domestic life during revolutionary wartime are riveting, especially descriptions of the quartering of soldiers and the excesses of the wealthy. This is definitely not boring historical fiction, and would be a great "assigned reading" book for 8th graders studying the American Revolution.
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