by Alex Myers

Reviewer Rating:
3

Review

Alex Myers' fictionalized account of the life of Deborah Samson, who served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution as Robert Shurtliff, is a vividly imagined tale of identity, freedom, heroism and love. In 1782, Deborah wants more than her life as a weaver and servant to others. She escapes her town and enlists in the army, determined to contribute to making a difference to her country. Robert is selected for the elite light infantry, patrols, guards, kills, and is wounded, all while keeping his secret. The language used and the descriptions of the difficulties of army life at the time put you in the middle of the sights, sounds, and smells. Early in the book, I found some passages in which our hero was referred to as both Deborah and Robert, both he and she, within the same paragraph, confusing, but I came to believe this was a deliberate choice by the author to demonstrate Deborah's/Robert's shifting sense of identity, and the theme of duality and freedom within truth and choice is woven throughout. Try this if you like historical fiction of this period, or any historical fiction that also explores social issues.

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