“Cast Two Shadows” is a historical fiction novel written by Ann Rinaldi at the period of the American Revolution. It follows the life of Caroline Whitaker, a fourteen-year-old girl living in South Carolina whose father is in prison, her brother contributing in the war as a loyalist, and she, her mother, and her sister are restricted to a room as British colonel, Rawdon, occupies their vast plantation. As the story progressed, Caroline encountered numerous problems which helped her grow, learn, and finally lead her to overcome them.
Throughout the book, a consistent theme is: The death of a friend or family may be a devastating loss, but they will never fade from our hearts. Rinaldi started her book off with the death of Caroline’s best friend, Kit. This death directly impacted Caroline’s thoughts on the British, and her as a whole; “…trying to ponder a way to be rid of the sickness inside me. It hung there like Kit’s corpse, rotting” (Rinaldi 21). Before everything, Caroline was full of joy, riding her horses through the trees and enjoying nature, without much hate towards the British; however, right after the British hanged Kit, Caroline’s hatred towards them turned from zero to hundred in an instant.
Moreover, this death later impacted her to join the rebels and fight against the British. Later on, during the resolution, Caroline reflected upon the past few months of her life with Mrs. Milendy, her grandmother, and realized that several more people now hanged in her, “I’ve got three people hanging in me now…my friend Kit, my real mama, and now Agnes of Glasgow” (Rinaldi 208). This exchange between the two not only led Caroline to another realization: The older you are, the more people will be hanging inside you. It also led her to understand that “Those people you got hangin’ inside, they make you different. Better” (Rinaldi 209).