Or Give Me Death Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Or Give Me Death

Patrick Henry traveled through the American colonies, advocating independence from the British. But at Henry's plantation in Virginia, his family faces a challenge of their own when Sarah, Henry's wife, becomes mentally ill and tries killing her infant son. Knowing her mother is a danger to herself and the family, Sarah's oldest daughter Patsy confines Sarah to the cellar.
Click here to see the rest of this review

As Sarah's mind deteriorates, however, she claims she gains the ability to see into the future and tells her daughter Anne which of the five Henry children will inherit her madness. Rather than expose this sibling to Patsy's cruelty, however, Anne lies and tells everyone she has Sarah's "bad blood." Her lie costs Anne over the years, as Patsy browbeats her sister, claiming the harsh treatment will break her "madness."

One night, four years after Patsy confined Sarah to the cellar, Anne hears Sarah beg her husband to "give me my freedom or let me go to my death!" These words haunt Anne when she hears them repeated in her father's famous speech. She wonders if keeping her secret is still the best thing to do. But as Anne wrestles with her decision to tell the truth, her mother's madness threatens to infect her sibling, just as America finds itself in the middle of the Revolutionary War.

The review of this Book prepared by Michael Jung

Chapter Analysis of Or Give Me Death

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   Mother because he/she is    -   mentally ill Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   farmer Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   hostile, like Gomer Pyle on steroids

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Or Give Me Death

Ann Rinaldi Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian