While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. Read more...
While staying with her aunt, Elizabeth finds something remarkable: a drawing. It hangs on the wall, a portrait of her ancestor, Eliza, known as Zee. She looks like Elizabeth.
The girls lives intertwine as Elizabeth s present-day story alternates with Zee s, which takes place during the American Revolution. Zee is dreamy, and hopeful for the future until the Revolution tears apart her family and her community in upstate New York. Left on her own, she struggles to survive and to follow her father and brother into battle.
Zee s story has been waiting to be rediscovered by the right person. As Elizabeth learns about Zee, and walks where Zee once walked and battles raged, the past becomes as vivid and real as the present.
In this beautifully crafted, affecting novel from beloved author Patricia Reilly Giff, the lives of two girls reflect one another as each finds her own inner strengths."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-09-06
- Reviewer: Staff
This novel by two-time Newbery Honor author Giff gracefully bridges two eras and two insightful perspectives. Elizabeth is a contemporary girl who goes to stay with her late mother's sister, Libby, while her father is away. There, she is captivated by a drawing of a young woman who looks remarkably like her: Zee, an ancestor whose patriot father died fighting in the American Revolution and whose mother was killed when their cabin was ambushed. Through thoughtfully crafted narratives that alternate between each heroine--Elizabeth's story is told in the third-person present tense, Zee's interior monologue is written in the past tense--Giff draws parallels between the two. Both are tenacious yet self-deprecating, have lost family, and are uprooted and searching for a sense of belonging. A roughly drawn map on the back of Zee's portrait and the scattered information Libby and a cousin know about their ancestors help Elizabeth assemble the pieces of Zee's life and become the present-day teller of her story. As she brings these characters and history alive, Giff again demonstrates her own gift for storytelling. Ages 8–14. (Sept.)