“Momma said that ghosts couldn't move over water. That's why Africans got trapped in the Americas.. They kept moving us over the water, stealing us away from our ghosts and ancestors, who cried salty rivers into the sand. That's where Momma was now, wailing at the water's edge, while her girls were pulled out of sight under white sails that cracked in the wind.” - Laurie Halse Anderson, Chains
Chains is a story about freedom. A story about a nations fight for freedom. But most of all it's a story of a little girls fight for her and her sisters freedom. Isabel and her sister Ruth are two young slave girls living during the American Revolutionary War that are promised freedom upon their owners death. But instead of receiving freedom they end up in a rich an influential Loyalist family in New York City. But Isabel never gives up her and her sisters fight for freedom and because of that she gets caught in a whole nations fight for freedom...
Chains is a very detailed story with lots of interesting information about the American Revolution era. That being said, I would like to start of by saying that historical fiction isn't usually a genre I go for, so you should probably keep that in mind while reading this review. For most parts I thought that Chains was an enjoyable, interesting and engaging read but I have to admit that there was one thing that made me struggle more than necessary while reading this book. I do think that Laurie Halse Anderson is a talented writer but this novel just suffered a bit from all the historical facts that were crammed into this story. Some explanations and parts of the story were made just to prove or explain a historical fact and that did take away some of the flow and magic of the actual story. So I felt a bit lost and disconnected as a reader sometimes. Even if I felt for Isabel and her sister I also think that the character could have had a bit more depth to them. Sometimes I felt like there was no explanation or logic behind why a character was acting or doing what they were doing. With those little things out of the way, I still want to end this review with saying that I do think that this is a good novel and that I honestly think that you might enjoy it even more if you're used to reading historical fiction. Because this is a well-written book with an interesting story-line. But I have to base my rating on my personal reading experience and based on that Chains deserves 3/5 stars.
This post was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.