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The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

The Last Runaway

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April 2013 Book of the Month.

Set in Ohio in 1850, the stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring examines belief, duty and conscience against the backdrop of slavery. Quaker Honor Bright sails to America in the hope of a new life but finds little physical comfort in the harsh lands of Ohio or spritual sanctury in the Quaker community she settles in. Hailed as her best work since Girl with the Pearl Earring, The Last Runaway is a very satisfying read.

If you like Tracy Chevalier you might also like to read books by Rose Tremain, Philipp Meyer and Deborah Moggach.


The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

The stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. When modest Quaker Honor Bright sails from Bristol with her sister, she is fleeing heartache for a new life in America, far from home. But tragedy leaves her alone and vulnerable, torn between two worlds and dependent on the kindness of strangers. Life in 1850s Ohio is precarious and unsentimental. The sun is too hot, the thunderstorms too violent, the snow too deep. The roads are spattered with mud and spit. The woods are home to skunks and porcupines and raccoons. They also shelter slaves escaping north to freedom. Should Honor hide runaways from the ruthless men who hunt them down? The Quaker community she has joined may oppose slavery in principle, but does it have the courage to help her defy the law? As she struggles to find her place and her voice, Honor must decide what she is willing to risk for her beliefs. Set in the tangled forests and sunlit cornfields of Ohio, Tracy Chevalier's vivid novel is the story of bad men and spirited women, surprising marriages and unlikely friendships, and the remarkable power of defiance.


Praise for The Last Runaway:

'I have always admired Tracy Chevalier's un-showy brilliance, and this moving story of a young English Quaker girl trapped between duty and conscience in 1850s Ohio is the best thing she's written since Girl with a Pearl Earring
Rose Tremain

'The Last Runaway is a joy to read. Chevalier handles the intersection of two stories - those of pioneering Quakers and escaping slaves - with verve, imagination and, above all, compassion'
Maggie O'Farrell

'A brave, warm-hearted, moving book; the characters are well-drawn and credible; the local colour meticulously detailed'
Joanne Harris

Praise for Girl with a Pearl Earring:

'Chevalier's writing skill and her knowledge of seventeenth-century Delft are such that she creates a world reminiscent of a Vermeer interior: suspended in a particular moment, it transcends its time and place'
New Yorker

'Chevalier's book is a delight'
Simon Jenkins, Guardian

'This is a wonderful novel, mysterious, steeped in atmosphere. It is deeply revealing about the process of painting...a truly magical experience.'

'This is a novel which deserves, and I am sure will win, a prize - or two.'

'A portrait of radiance...Tracy Chevalier brings the real artist Vermeer and a fictional muse to life in a jewel of a novel.'

'It has a slow, magical current of its own that picks you up and carries you stealthily along...a beautiful story, lovingly told by a very talented writer.'
Daily Mail

About the Author

Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is the author of six previous novels, including the international bestseller Girl with a Pearl Earring, The Virgin Blue, Falling Angels, The Lady and the Unicorn, Burning Bright and Remarkable Creatures. Born in Washington, DC, she moved to London in 1984, where she lives with her husband and son.

The film of Girl with a Pearl Earring, starring Colin Firth as Vermeer, was released in the UK in January. It was nominated for 10 BAFTAs and two Academy Awards.

Photograph © Eammon McCabe

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Book Info

Publication date

14th March 2013


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HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers




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