What is the climax in Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson?

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Ashes continues and concludes the story of two African American sisters, Isabel and Ruth, in Revolutionary-era North America. As the sisters’ quest for freedom roughly parallels the new country’s war for independence, this novel ends with the British surrender at Yorktown.

Isabel, who is older, has helped care for her...

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Ashes continues and concludes the story of two African American sisters, Isabel and Ruth, in Revolutionary-era North America. As the sisters’ quest for freedom roughly parallels the new country’s war for independence, this novel ends with the British surrender at Yorktown.

Isabel, who is older, has helped care for her younger sister; this attention was especially crucial because Ruth had an illness, which modern medicine could identify as epilepsy. After the two sisters were separated, however, finding and reuniting with Ruth became Isabel’s mission. It was especially difficult and even dangerous because of the danger Isabel, who was free, faced of being enslaved again if she traveled south.

Accompanied by her dear friend Curzon, Isabel makes the journey to South Carolina. The climax comes when she and Ruth are reunited. At first it seems that the mission was a failure, however. Ruth is living with other slaves, an older couple, and they are fond of the girl. She rejects her sister as part of her former life, but her surrogate parents impress upon her the importance of family. The climax occurs when the sisters, along with Curzon and a boy who desires freedom, leave the farm together, heading north to freedom.

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