Sunday, May 17, 2009
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Isabel and her younger sister Ruth are slaves and orphans at the time of the Revolutionary War in the United States. Their mistress planned to free both the girls on her death but when that time comes her will is nowhere to be found and a greedy relative sells the sisters to a new mistress and they are taken to New York. Their new owner is a mean and spiteful woman and she and her husband support the British in the brewing war. Since her owners are known to be Torries and the American patriots would like to catch them at something Isabel is asked to spy on her Master. She reluctantly agrees to help out in exchange for a promise to help return her to her home. But despite the valuable information she gives to the Patriots she finds that neither they nor the British are willing to help her, even when the mistress sells Ruth to a new family in the West Indies and has Isabel branded. Isabel knows that she is the only hope for her sister but first she has to find a way to escape from her owners and make a way off of the island of New York.