Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Review of Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Title: Chains
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Published by: Atheneum
Pages: 316
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5

From GoodreadsAs the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

I've read a couple of Laurie Halse Anderson's "contemporary fiction" (for lack of a better genre) novels.  They were amazing novels that all dealt with tough issues that teenagers face in today's society.  They are wonderfully written and very powerful. 

Chains is my first historical fiction novel by Anderson.  Like her previous novels I've read, this one also dealt with a tough issue--slavery.  The story is told in the voice of Isabel, a thirteen year old slave.  Once her master dies Isabel and her sister Ruth were supposed to be freed but things took a turn for the worse and they ended up with mean and hateful owners. 

This novel follows Isabel's fight for her own freedom among America's fight for freedom during the Revolutionary war.  Isabel, while she is young, is such a strong person.  She has a bit of a sharp tough and is a bit defiant but that makes me love her even more.  She is a good person at heart and only wants what's right for her and her sister. 

I really enjoyed this novel in more ways than I can explain.  The characters were richly developed and heart touching.  You really routed for Isabel and her sister throughout the entire novel.  The writing was beautiful and so descriptive.  I had no problem imagining I was in New York during the American Revolution with soldiers for both sides all around me.  I was entranced from the first page to the last page.   

Laurie Halse Anderson did it again...she has me hooked.


  1. Laurie Halse Anderson is amazing, but I have only read a couple of her contemporary novels. I didn't even know about this historical novel of her.

    Isabel's plight sounds intense and emotional. Good to know the book is very illustrative. I will have to check it out for my Book Awards reading challenge. Thanks for the review, Lisa.

  2. She's great! I didn't know she did a historical. I'm putting this one on my list!

  3. I've read one of her contemporary fiction novels. I can't imagine her writing for historical fiction. I have to check it out because she does a good job creating characters. Great review and thanks for the introduction.

  4. I LOVE Laurie's Contemporary novels. I also enjoyed Fever, 1793 so I am definitely looking forward to this series. Glad to hear you liked it!


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