What is it about?
The Last Runaway follows a twenty-year-old Quaker girl called Honor as she leaves her family home in Dorset, England for the new land of promise – America. The book starts in the 1850s and spans a few of years, allowing us to watch as Honor grows and finds her place in the Wild West. Honor becomes many things throughout the book; hat-maker, farmer, wife, mother and, most importantly, a slave smuggler for the Underground Railroad.
Is it any good?
If, like me, you are a sucker for historical fiction, then this should tick all your boxes. Chevalier creates a rich world for the reader to immerse themselves in – she creates a history lesson within her novel, something that I for one thoroughly enjoy. It is unpredictable too; the obvious and cliché choices for Honor’s love interest are waved in front of us, red herrings, but the choice she makes will genuinely surprise the reader. The climax, too, is unique and unpredictable. Furthermore, this is not a love story. Yes, there is romance in it, but it is hardly of any consequence to the story. I could reveal the name of Honor’s husband right here and it would not come anywhere close to ruining the story for you. This is something I find refreshing about the novel; our heroine is a young woman who can exist without manufactured romance. The only criticism I have of this novel is its abrupt and not wholly fulfilling ending. However, the journey (in this case) is more important than the destination, and so this can easily be forgiven.
How long did it take to read: four days
For fans of: Memoirs of a Geisha, Little House on the Prairie, hats, plots with numerous twists and turns, soap operas, corn
This book tastes like: mashed potatoes and gravy