Review: Sarah's Ground - Ann Rinaldi

Sarah's Ground by Ann Rinaldi
Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance
Published on May 11, 2010
Published by Simon Pulse
Pages: 192
Read From: 2.5.12 - 2.7.12











SYNOPSIS
Sarah Tracy has spent her entire life under constant supervision, always under the thumb of one older sibling or another. Now, at eighteen it's time for her to get married, so she is sent to dinner parties, plays, teas, soirees, talks, and chaperoned walks - always accompanied, always watched. 
Sarah's tired of it - tired of being shipped around, tired of being reminded that it's time to find a suitable husband. She knows that a husband is definitely not what she wants. But the year is 1861 and it's not proper for girls of Sarah's age to be single or independent. 
Then Sarah sees an advertisement looking for a young woman to oversee Mount Vernon, the beloved, though now dilapidated, family home of George Washington. Intent on securing the position, she lies to her family and her potential employer, and she becomes mistress of this decaying symbol of American freedom. 
And then comes the American Civil War. As battles rage around her, Sarah is determined to create a haven of peace at Mount Vernon. With consummate skills, feminine wiles, and a true sense of diplomacy, Sarah single-handedly manages to keep Mount Vernon out of the war. But while she is able to influence generals, soldiers, and even the president, she learns she doesn't hold such sway over her own heart - as she also discovers true love.


Review

This was one of my more favorite Rinaldi books. While a fairly straight-forward and simple tale, it is also fascinating, since it is about a brave young woman whom so few people know about. Like all of her books, Rinaldi deftly blends solid historical fact in with her own personal interpretation of the people's thoughts an d feelings. Sarah is a strong young woman who knows her heart and what she wants, and when she is unsure, she doesn't let it show. It could not have been easy maintaining Mount Vernon as a neutral territory during the Civil War.

I was a little sad that Rinaldi didn't spend some time on Sarah's school days. Those can always be entertaining, especially when the young woman in question is fed up of people trying to turn her into a lady and marry her off to some nice - or not so nice - young - or old - gentleman. But the story is peppered with little short anecdotes that are amusing and give a small insight into some of the things poor Sarah underwent.

All in all, a wonderful short look at the life - and possible thoughts - of Sarah Tracy, the woman who restored Mount Vernon, and managed to keep peace there through a tumultuous war.

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