Saturday, July 26, 2008

Finishing Becca (book review)

In Finishing Becca, by renowned historical fiction author Ann Rinaldi, young Becca is chosen to leave the hard work on her farm behind and work for a rich Loyalist family in Philadelphia. The year is 1778, and Philadelphia is a hotspot for Revolutionary war happenings. Becca can't wait to see the city for herself, her stepfather can't wait for her to get away from him, and her mother can't wait for her to finally get a formal education. The people she is to work for are well-educated socialites, the Shippens, and surely they can give Becca a rich girl's education. But the only thing Becca gets an education in is mendacity, because young and beautiful Peggy Shippen has set her sights on the American general Benedict Arnold, and she will do anything to turn him to her side. Becca can only watch in astonishment and disgust as Peggy woos Arnold into turning against his native country.

It was interesting to see this important historical event from a maid's point of view. As the story unfolds, Becca finds herself a part of the Shippens' duplicitous dealings, so the reader gets to see what happens through the eyes of someone who was close to the family. This book wasn't the best that I have read by Ann Rinaldi, but it did not disappoint me (her books never do).

This book was read for the Back To History Challenge.