Rinaldi, Ann. Or give me death; a novel of Patrick Henry's family.

AuthorWinship, Michele
PositionYoung Adult Review - Book Review

RINALDI, Ann. Or give me death; a novel of Patrick Henry's family. Harcourt, Gulliver. 226p. c2003. 0-15-205076-0. $6.95. JS

To quote from the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2003: Rinaldi once again hits her stride and brings us another side of history, this time from the perspective of Patrick Henry's daughters. Covering the years 1771 to 1778, the story is narrated in the first half by Patsy, Henry and Sarah's eldest daughter, who finds herself having to bear the responsibility of the family due to her father's frequent absences and her mother's slow decent into madness. The details of 18th-century life weave through the plot, allowing readers to step into the shoes of a young woman of means and her daily rituals, including keeping house and courtship.

Rinaldi skillfully peppers famous historic events throughout the novel, and is particularly sensitive in depicting the conflict Henry faced as a slave owner and a champion of freedom. The second half of the book is narrated by Henry's middle daughter, Anne, who has grown up a bit wild and rebels against the authority of Patsy in her role as lady of the manor. Anne has the distinction...

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