“All because he stole something that should have been his to start with.”
This is historical fiction as it ought to be written: a vivid portrait of the times woven from many factual threads as well as period appropriate people and ideas. But this is no history, rather an engaging, enjoyable fiction. Each chapter opens with an epigram from some primary source draw from letters or journals of that time. The story also explores the lot of the common soldier encamped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania that brutal winter of 1777-8.
“My humors fell out of balance, and I became tetchy and sour-minded.”
The voice of the protagonist, a young black male fleeing from slavery and joining the fight for American independence, sound authentic. Written to simultaneously capture the attention and persuade young readers.
“Even from his grave, Father could be an annoying fellow.”
A fictional treatment of American slavery risks either sugar coating what was an awful reality or demonizing everyone and everything involved. Anderson draws a clear line against slavery while exploring the varying attitudes and justifications of that day.
“The land which we have watered with our tears and blood is now our mother country.”
A good, standalone read, even though it is the sequel to Chains.
“If our luck does not turn for the good on its own,” she said, “we’ll make it turn.”