Michelle's Reviews > Chains

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
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's review
Mar 12, 09

really liked it
bookshelves: ya, 2009
Recommended for: historical fiction fans
Read in March, 2009

Fantastic story about a young slave girl who is sold to a loyalist family at the outset of the Revoultionary War in New York City. Isabel is a loveable character who has truly experienced hardships in her life but who desperately wants to hold onto the beautiful things she has: her family and her soul.

Anderson is amazing at imagery. I loved “Speak” and “Chains” is amazing too. The actual quotes from contemporaries at the beginning of each chapter would instantly transport me to the uncertain streets of New York. Madam Lockton’s abuse and pure meanness was horrifying; I couldn’t understand how Isabel could take so much abuse without kicking back. I suppose that is what the story is partly about: how much a person can take before fighting back - whether you are a slave or a country. One of the most awful scenes was when Isabel was in court and nothing could be done for her situation – I just kept thinking how like it was to the court scene in “Oliver Twist.”

I especially could visualize Isabel whenever her fury threatened to overtake her, she described her feelings as if bees were buzzing in her body, pulsing around the surface and trying to break free. What a truthful and apt description!

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