Friday, March 11, 2011

Book Review: Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson


Forge (Seeds of America)

Book Description:

In this compelling sequel to Chains, a National Book Award Finalist and winner of the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, acclaimed author Laurie Halse Anderson shifts perspective from Isabel to Curzon and brings to the page the tale of what it takes for runaway slaves to forge their own paths in a world of obstacles—and in the midst of the American Revolution.

The Patriot Army was shaped and strengthened by the desperate circumstances of the Valley Forge winter. This is where Curzon the boy becomes Curzon the young man. In addition to the hardships of soldiering, he lives with the fear of discovery, for he is an escaped slave passing for free. And then there is Isabel, who is also at Valley Forge—against her will. She and Curzon have to sort out the tangled threads of their friendship while figuring out what stands between the two of them and true freedom.
 My thoughts:
After reading Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, which I really enjoyed, I quickly checked out Forge, the next book in the series. In Forge (Seeds of America), the telling of the story switches from Isabel to Curzon who quickly become entangled in the fighting. Curzon's journey takes the reader into the winter spent at Valley Forge where he is found by his owner, put back to work and is brought together again with Isabel. For the remainder of the winter at Valley Forge Curzon plans his and Isabel's escape while bearing under the chains that still bind them in slavery.

There were many aspects of this story that I appreciated: the setting at Valley Forge and getting a picture of the suffering that the Patriot Army endured while wintered there, the harshness that the slaves endured, male and female, and the growing up of Curzon and Isabel. As much as I enjoyed Curzon's story, I really, really missed Isabel's voice. Also, when I got to the end of the story I realized that the plot of Forge was too similar to Chains to make it an outstanding story. I realize that the author's intent is to stress the difficulty of slavery and yes, Curzon and Isabel's relationship deepens, but when Forge ended almost on the same lines asChains, I was a little aggrevated. Overall, Forge was a wonderful story and if you like historical fiction it definitely gives a wonderful perspective.

1 comment:

  1. I think I liked Forge better than I did Chains, for reasons that I can't exactly put my finger on. Maybe it was that I knew something about Valley Forge, and so I enjoyed seeing the history woven through the story.



Related Posts with Thumbnails