This novel is set during the time just before the Revolutionary War. It deals with Patrick Henry's tragic family life. The story is told from the points of view of two of his daughters. It centers on their mother, who is slowly going "insane" and is kept locked up in the basement. There is a "supernatural" element to the story that adds mystery and suspense and will keep you turning pages. Though written for teens, history lovers of all ages will enjoy it! Highly recommended!
According to this historical novel, Patrick Henry was quoting his wife with his most famous line. The first half of the novel is told by Patsy, the oldest daughter of Patrick Henry, the second half is told by the second oldest sister, the rebellious Ann. Their mother is mentally ill. She tried to drown their baby sister, she ran off into a snowstorm with a toddler, she has convinced her family she has the Sight. She spends four years locked in their cellar. In this YA story their mother asks Patrick Henry, 'give me my freedom, or let me go to my death!'
Katie D. (kayteedee) reviewed Or Give Me Death : A Novel of Patrick Henry's Family (Great Episodes) on
Overall, I enjoyed the book. It kept me interested throughout the entire book. At the end, though, it confused me as to why the author would say that Patsy would inherit the bad blood, and then change it all around and say that it was John all along. The book also ended abruptly, I wasn't ready for it to end. I was expecting the father to die or something... Overall a good book.