Thursday, August 25, 2016

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson 
This was just one of the many books on my To Be Read List at the library. When I found it was available, I thought "why not?" For some reason, the 1770's time period has not always been my favorite to read in...not sure why. I tried My Name is Resolute but I wasn't loving it like I thought I was so maybe I just needed a slow intro to this time period to make me pick it up again (which I definitely do).

Chains is about Isabel and Ruth, sisters, who get sold to this rich loyalist family in New York. Isabel meets Curzon, who is a servant to a rebel leader, and asks Isabel to spy on her owners and get information to him to help in the Revolutionary War. Obviously, being a slave in this time period and going against your master is not only wrong but punishable by death so Isabel is rightfully reluctant but slowly follows through with the plan.

This is going to sound funny but I love the font at the beginning of each chapter and the quote from history's journals. These quotes always pertained to events happening in that chapter. You can tell this was a well researched historical fiction novel. Isabel is a strong character who is trying to decide for herself which side she should be on-the loyalist or the rebels? Each one promises freedom from slave but she's not sure if she could trust either one. There were a few 'a-ha' moments for her that were really neat.

One of those 'a-ha' moments was after a terrible beating from her mistress, Isabel had a choice whether she was going to let her mistress destroy her soul or not. She realized that this is something that the mistress could not take away from her unless Isabel gave it away. We all have a choice whether what people say or do to us will break us. That just reminded me of the quote from one of my favorite movies "Invictus"-Nelson Mandela is imprisoned for 30 years and instead of coming out with hate, he comes out with forgiveness. The quote called "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley is what helped him.

“Out of the night that covers me, 
Black as the Pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, 
How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate: 
I am the captain of my soul.” 

I didn't realize until I finished the book that this is part of a trilogy. The next book takes on the perspective of Curzon and seems to be a totally different feel so I'm curious to read it. 3.5/5

1 comment:

  1. Looks interesting. Great poem you added. Are you going to memorize it? :)