Bound by Sally Cabot Gunning


Alice Cole spent her first seven years living in two smoky, crowded rooms in London with her family. But a new home and a better life waited in the colonies, or so her father promised a bright dream that turned to ashes when her brothers and mother took ill and died during the arduous voyage. Arriving in New England unable to meet the added expenses incurred by their misfortunes at sea, her father bound Alice into servitude to pay his debts. By t...

Details Bound

Release DateApr 1st, 2008
PublisherWilliam Morrow
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Literature, 18th Century

Reviews Bound

  • Maddie
    If you need a real 'downer' then read this book. It's the typical modern 'histerical novel' I have learned to avoid. Well this story contains 3 of my favorite Pet Peeves: revisionism, modern ideals(read PC)and nihilism.
  • Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
    I quite liked The Widow’s War and so got the two sequels right after finishing it--but while Bound is as competently written as its predecessor, it’s the kind of book that rises or falls on its protagonist, and Alice did not work for me.The book tells the story of Alice Cole, who arrives in 18th century New England as a girl, losing most of her family on the trip only to be sold into indentured servitude at the end of it. When the real story ...
  • Mari Anne
    This sequel to "The Widow's War" is even more exciting and captivating than the first book. The story of Alice has a lot more drama and action than the story of Widow Berry in "War". That being said, the character of Alice takes a decidedly negative turn about midway through the book. She starts out as an object of sorrow and pity but ends up one of disappointment and disgust. I am not sure why the author took her character in that direction but ...
  • Kristine Schmidt
    pretty good fiction read, like popcorn for the brain. Entertaining, but not really filling. However, the writing is excellent, managing to suggest a tone from the time period without causing the reader to puzzle over obscure language usage.
  • ☕Laura
    Ratings (1 to 5)Writing: 4Plot: 4Characters: 4Emotional impact: 4Overall rating: 4
  • Jennifer
    This book, about a young woman in indentured servitude prior to the Revolutionary War, kept me turning pages. Along with a lesson about the climate of the country during the various "Acts" that the British Parliament passed, you get a great cast of characters. In particular, Alice, the main character, is vivid and, I felt, more realistic. (I always hate novels in which the characters do something ridiculous simply because the author wants to mix ...
  • Susan
    Gunning takes the reader into a world that is rarely described, pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts. Indentured servant Alice Cole, age 15, runs away from an abusive situation, finding herself under the wing of the widow Berry and her boarder, Mr. Freeman. Not yet free of her former master, Alice carries his child. Meticulous in detail, Gunning portrays Colonial Massachusetts as the groundwork is laid for a future revolution, and the homely details o...
  • Liz
    I didn't read the first book but this sequel was enjoyable as a stand-alone. I actually liked the first half of the book better than the second. It was an interesting look at a subject I didn't know much about, white slavery in the 1700's.
  • Joyce
    “Bound” by Sally Gunning left me disappointed, not just by the simpleton characterization of the protagonist Alice, but also of the novel's ending. There were a couple of times I shook my head in disbelief, but when I thought about the time period and the youth of the main character, I decided those points were believable. Alice Cole, sold by her father into 11-years of indentured service is not unlike other women of the era, no voice and no ...
  • Deborah
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and did read it in about three sittings over a weekend. Great fictional entertainment. I found no fault with the characters, plot, or the room left at the last third of the book for the reader's interpretation of how emotion played out the final choices.In fact that is what I believed was the saving grace of this story, the questions it did raise toward the conclusion-could Alice understand, identify, or ac...
  • Alethea
    This is the second novel by Gunning in her "Satucket series" that I've read; each book is its own self-contained story revolving around this town. This installment delves deeply into the first true kind of American slavery, indentured servitude. Alice Cole is on her way to Philadelphia from England with her father, mother, and two brothers. But after the deaths onboard ship of the latter three, upon docking, Alice's father essentially sells her t...
  • kathleen
    This novel had me somewhat confused and not until I read another review did I completely realize why. First, I have to say I read the book in a 24 hour timeframe as I had to know how the story ends. That alone makes me give it 4 stars. The author didn't write obvious solutions, I didn't know where the plot was going, I loved the setting, Cape Cod 18th century. I enjoyed learing the way the law and court worked during this time. The people came to...
  • Donna Jo Atwood
    Alice Cole is bound as a servant at age 7 when her father suffers from lack of funds upson coming to the American colonies. At first she is treated well, but at age 15 her contract is reassigned and life darkens. Each bit of happiness seems destined to be torn away.We meet many of the characters from Gunning's earlier (and most excellent) book The Widow's War. Gunning once again examines the legalities of the mid 1700s and how it affects women. S...
  • Laura
    Good historical fiction brings the era to life, illuminating things that we may not have known before. Bound highlights the life of an indentured servant in pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts, showing how casually children could be forced into that life (in this case, a father selling his daughter so as to pay for passage to the Colonies) and what that life could look like for the child, both good and bad. Where the book fails is the pregnancy plot,...
  • Kim
    The book is well written and is filled with pre-revolutionary war history and life in Massachusetts. The story moved well with Alice moving from one predicament to the next. I found it easy to read and the author did a good job with the language - making it fit in the time period without overwhelming and slowing down the pace. The problem I had with the story was that I felt like Alice no voice - it seemed like she rarely answered questions that ...
  • B
    This trilogy is outstanding. I have so enjoyed these novels that lean toward historical fiction. Compelling characters, riveting writing, familiar setting, and real life stories coming to life are all done quite well - again. And real TENSION as the story unfolds - gripping, page-turning tension - how will this go?? I love that! Alice, this story's main character, is brought to life in a wonderful fashion - her youthful thoughts, her tragic story...
  • Candis
    Alice Cole's life is turned upside down when her father decides to emigrate to America. When her mother and brothers die on the journey, and the captain of the ship takes what remains of the father's money in payment for the medical treatment and burial at sea, the father binds Alice into service. As circumstances become desperate, she makes the choice to become a survivor. While the plot and setting are well done, I felt that the characters were...
  • Peggy
    I picked this up at the library under newer fiction.A pretty easy read, I enjoyed that it was historical fiction told from an uncommon perspective. It wasn't earth shattering, but good. I found myself equally cheering on and suspicious of the lead character and had a hard time predicting what she would choose to do. Themes of overcoming adversity and ones "position" in life are throughout. I was a bit disappointed that Alice did not *do* more to ...
  • Valerie
    Good historical fiction. Verbiage from the times and descriptive passages of everyday life, but not so descriptive as to take away from the plot. I did have a hard time picturing the main character - as much as she was said to be very beautiful, no physical description of her is ever given. I was afraid that this was going to be a book that I liked until the end, but was pleasantly surprised that it ended not too happy, not too sad, not too weird...
  • Andrea
    I have to admit the cover of this book is very compelling. It is a beautiful painting of a young woman The story is of a very young girl and her mistrails during the prerevolutionary war years. of course as most of the lives of women in history it is filled with abuse and neglect and unfair treatment. The story line jumped around abit and left you wondering what happened to that group of people. I won't aspoil the ending as it makes the book worh...
  • Julie
    This is a historical fiction book about a young white girl who was sold into slavery by her own father shortly after arrival from England. It takes place just before the revolutionary war on Cape Cod. I am always drawn to books about people living in oppresive circumstances and overcoming them. I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about indentured slavory in Massachuessets and the years leading up the revolutionary war.
  • Aimee
    The story was interesting and I wanted to find out what next. It was gloomier than I like in a story and hard to read at times but that was because of the subject matter. I felt for Alice and her position. At times I admired her courage but at other times aggravated by her behavior especially to those who cared about her. She didn't make sense to me at times. But considering all she had been through it's understandable her view of others and situ...
  • Allen Elggren
    White slavery in America. Excellent discriptions of survival level life in the early settlements of Mass., with the almost impossible status of those, especially children, indentured in the great state of Mass. After reading this, i believe we white folks need reparations. Indeed, I had no idea that white slavery, indentured was as prevelant today as it is.Excellent, well written book about the period just before the Revolutionary war.
  • Gloria
    I began reading this book and found it wasn't "awful" to read, but neither was it very compelling. The writing was straight-forward, but it didn't particularly grasp my attention.I could have finished it (other than the fact it was one of those library books that's full of cat hair and other unnamed sticky gross substances), but I didn't really care if I did or didn't.I picked up the next book on my list, was immediately sucked in, and went "Ah, ...
  • Melinda
    The further I read in this book, the more captivating it became. It was thoroughly interesting to discover what indentured servants experienced - mostly injustices and hardships, and how difficult it was to escape or endure until one's debt is paid.The female protagonist, Alice Cole, was a fascinating character - her actions kept me guessing. An overall good read for fans of historical fiction.
  • Tressa
    This book was not too bad, I can't imagine this happening to me it would have been awful especially back in this time when women had no rights. I just really didn't like the choices that the main character made. But, then I guess she wasn't old enough to make thoughtful decisions, but I didn't like the ending.
  • TK
    Gunning does amazing things when she writes about unconventional women during the Revolutionary War period of our history. She hasn't written a character yet that I haven't grown to love (unless, of course, it's the character I'm meant to hate). A smart novel for smart people to read on many levels, although I suppose even less-smart people could enjoy BOUND merely for it's excellent plot.
  • Laura
    I wanted things a bit more spelled out for me, and was disappointed by not knowing what Freeman was thinking. I was also disappointed that Alice didn't seem to feel guilty for doing something wrong, just upset that she had been caught. Not a bad book, but not as fantastic as I feel it could have been.
  • Maureen
    I loved this book. I though, would recommend reading The Widow's War first. While it's not necessary to read it to understand Bound, there are some characters with history from the Widow's War that would have been nice to know when reading Bound.
  • Kari
    I like this author a lot. She knows how to tell a good story. However, I like my reading to be more G or PG rated. While the rape was essential to the story line and easily skimmed over I can't give this book a full recommendation.