The writers of Concord, Massachusetts' literary past are alive in present day in Honor in Concord. They appear as characters who struggle between their need for freedom and self-determination and the sense of responsibility they feel toward the commitments they have made.
Do the commitments we make define or limit us? Is freedom an illusion? Are we ever truly free?
Honor in Concord also asks: What if we choose to honor our lives? What if we choose to honor who we are and who others determine themselves to be? What if we choose to honor the commitments we've made to ourselves and others leaving our hearts intact, rather than allowing our lives to shatter out of a sense of boredom or regret or out of the mistaken belief that none of it matters anyway?
The message here is that all that we think, say, and do has meaning. Our actions and intentions make up the very essence of who we are and help to form the circumstances of the world in which we live.
In Honor in Concord the author's own story is also told. What results is a weave of fiction and fact that includes extraordinary moments from her own life, as well as poignant images that she draws from Concord's literary past, like that of Thoreau in his final days struggling to complete his essay, Walking; Hawthorne "drifting into the sea of infinity" as he writes; and Martha Hunt's act of "purification" in the waters of the Concord River. It is through this mix of reality and imagination that we see the link that exists between the present and the past and we are reminded of the presence of spirit in our lives. We are reminded of what Emerson called the infinitude of the soul.