Sally Gunning’s historical novel, Bound, the account of Alice Cole’s life after leaving England for the
pre-Revolutionary New England, is filled with devastating event after event. Alice lost her mother and two
brothers on the trip to New England and then was indentured by her father on their arrival in the colonies.
The strength of the novel lies in the realistic depiction of events as they unfold. One crisis after another
arises for Alice, and the reader is urged to read on to find out how Alice will (or if she will) deal with the
latest set of circumstances.
Alice’s quest for freedom parallels the struggle the colonies are experiencing in their attempt to gain their
The novel also sheds some light on the indenturing process, which in many cases amounted to slavery. This
process plays a big part in this story and accounts for most of the trouble that Alice experienced.
Gunning has created a character with many flaws, but one that receives compassion and care from the reader.
The ending may seem a little skewed, but such is life.