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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tale of Friendship Shows Slavery Isn't Just About the Color of One's Skin

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Life is unbearably cruel for a 12-year-old Virginian girl who's been little more than a servant to her pa and brothers since her mother died in childbirth.  Abused daily by the males, she longs for escape.  For freedom.  When a runaway slave named Zenobia comes begging for help, the girl hides her, knowing she risks her own life to do so.  Protecting Zenobia gives the girl an idea—maybe she can run for her freedom, too.

Hiding during the day, running at night, the girls flee toward a Quaker settlement called Watertown.  As they dodge slave traders and other dangers, the two form a strong friendship.  Zenobia gives the girl a name—Lark—and shows her that, despite Lark's pale skin, the girls are more alike than different.  But will they accomplish their shared goal?  Will they reach freedom?  The girls would rather die than go back to their former lives—and that may be exactly what happens.

Running Out of Night, the debut novel of non-fiction writer Sharon Lovejoy, tells a tense, triumphant story about two brave girls fighting for the right to control their own destinies.  Drawing on old family letters as well as Lovejoy's lifelong interest in nature, gardening, and ethnobotany, it offers a unique twist on a familiar story.  I enjoyed it.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of Black Angels by Linda Beatrice Brown)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good read with a good message. Btw, totally wish you were going to book club with me tonight. We read Wonder and everyone loved it and is wondering what's wrong with me .


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