I am a big fan of historical novels and I love when fiction blends with realistic situations and historical facts.
Chains narrates the story of Isabel, a Black American slave fighting for her freedom during the Revolutionary War. It is the first novel of the Seed of America trilogy, written by Laurie Halse Anderson.
At the beginning of each chapter, an actual quote from the time period provides a precise and yet poetic account of the life in New York City during the Revolutionary war.
While the setting and the plot of Chains seemed credible, the characters seemed characters designed by the author; they did not seem real people.
The use or archaic language blended with tedious descriptions of battles, assemblies, and plots made the story more like a learning experience than a journey.
Chains is a wonderful guide—a manual—into the past. It is an exceptional example of how imagery could be used to create powerful emotions. But, it is not a story that keeps you hooked to your chair.
While reading, you have to put the novel down and digest all the details, historical facts, and events of one chapter, before going to the next chapter.
Nonetheless, I applaud the author for writing about gender issues and human rights in such a candid and straightforward way.
I read many books about slavery, but I never encountered a book, like this one, that shows you, in each page and in each word, the evil essence and the true meaning of slavery.
Slavery destroys the body and the soul. It destroys dreams, words, actions, and goals. It takes humanity into ashes.
“A body does not like being bought and sold like a basket of eggs, even if the person who cracks the shells is kind.” –Chains