Four unique voices; two parallel love stories; one sweeping novel rich in the history of 19th-century America. This remarkable debut draws from the great themes of literature - famine, war, love, and family - as it introduces four unforgettable characters.
Ethan McOwen is an Irish immigrant whose endurance is tested in Brooklyn and the Five Points at the height of its urban destitution; he is among the first to join the famed Irish Brigade and becomes a celebrated war photographer. Marcella, a society girl from Spain, defies her father to become a passionate abolitionist. Mary and Micah are slaves of varying circumstances, who form an instant connection and embark on a tumultuous path to freedom. All four lives unfold in two beautiful love stories, which eventually collide.
Written in gorgeous language that subtly captures the diverse backgrounds of the characters, and interspersed with letters, journals, and dreams, this unforgettable story, rendered in cinematic detail, is about having faith in life's great meaning amidst its various tangles.
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Four passionate performances give wings to story
I am so thankful to have stumbled onto this book. The story is beautiful and breathtaking, full of love and hope and all of the best in human experience. The characters face the extremes and troubles of their age, but they manage to endure and live and hope on. We experience vicariously what it might have been like to be such people. I am left with a heart warmed and a mind challenged. I am a better person for having read this book.
While written for adults, I feel that the novel is appropriate for teenagers. Important adult themes are handled with decency. Profanity, while present, is not glorified nor prevalent.
I experienced the story in audible format, and I wish to mention that having the book read by four superb actors was a great enhancement to an already remarkable work. The music in the Irish, Southern and Spannish voices is not to be missed, and I was impressed by how each of the actors showed excellent range. These vocal performances are a beautiful enhancement to a magnificent novel.
- Ann "Wonderwife, Supermom"