Bound by Sally Gunning

Aug 26, 2010

Alice is only seven years old when she, her parents, and two brothers sail from London to the new world chasing her father’s dream of a better life. But the crossing is full of misery and death and when the ship finally arrives in Boston, Alice and her father are all that is left of their family. Without a backward glance or proper farewell to Alice, her father sells her into servitude to pay his debts and she becomes indentured until she reaches the age of eighteen. Luckily for Alice, the family to which she is now bound is a loving one. Over the years Mr. and Mrs. Morton as well as their son, Elisha, and daughter, Abigail, make Alice a part of their family. But when Abigail marries, it is her request that Alice be given to her and her new husband to finish out the indenture. Both girls are excited at the prospects of a new life, a new adventure. Mr. Morton agrees, but he has no idea what is in store for Alice at the hands of Abigail’s new husband, Verley. Alice does her best to cope with what has now been dealt her, but as the days as weeks pass, she becomes more and more haunted by the continued trauma in her life. Bound is the gritty, sometimes ugly truth of early American life told through the eyes of a young indentured girl whose courage and determination are her only liberation. Exceptional character development makes these characters real enough to step out of the pages, and their emotional ups and downs are impossible not to share. The author has created more than just a wonderful historically based account of indenture. She’s fashioned a heartfelt story of love and hope that will captivate readers from beginning to end.

Reviewed by Library Staff