A turn of bad luck sees Isabel & her sister, Ruth, being sold to a ‘genteel’ household. Unfortunately, Madam herself is none too gentle with the help. Isabel’s dream of freedom, of being recognised as a person, a human being, was crushed. She cannot however be brought down by this turn of event. Ruth needs her care and she has promised Momma that she would care for Ruth.
The country is teetering on the edge of war when she arrived in New York with her new owners. The Locktons are Loyalists and do not wish to break away from the Mother country. Isabel was approached to assist the Rebels but seeing her precarious position and with Ruth to care for, she cannot take the risk. However, the choice will be taken out of her hands and she will do everything she can for the safety of her soul…
It is such a powerful story and there was no holding back, “Stars exploded out the top of my head and all my word and all of my rememberies followed them up to the sun, burning to ash that floated back and settled in the mud.”
Isabel is such a strong character and was surprisingly a risk-taker, even though at times, it felt like it was decided for her that this is her path. I felt this way because of the bees: “Strangest of all was the hive of bees that had taken up residence inside of me. They swarmed under my skin and gave off peculiar vibrations. The buzzing echoed in my brainpan and crowded out my thoughts. I love the bees and I love all the quirky descriptive words Isabel used.
I really can’t wait for the next installment. For now, this book is on the list of 2011 Christmas present for my niece.