Today I am taking part in a book tour, please follow the link to find the rest of the stops on the tour and more information:
Norah: The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York by Cynthia Neale
Once she was a child of hunger, but now Norah McCabe is a woman with courage, passion, and reckless dreams. Her story is one of survival, intrigue, and love. This Irish immigrant woman cannot be narrowly defined! She dons Paris fashion and opens a used-clothing store, is attacked by a vicious police commissioner, joins a movement to free Ireland, and attends a National Women's Rights Convention. And love comes to her slowly one night on a dark street, ensnared by the great Mr. Murray, essayist and gang leader extraordinaire. Norah is the story of a woman who confronts prejudice, violence, and greed in a city that mystifies and helps to mold her into becoming an Irish-American woman.
This has been my first foray into historical fiction, and I can definitely say it won't be my last. I have to admit to not knowing anything at all about the Potato Famine and Irish history, that is an error on my part.
I found this book slow to start but that says more about me as it is not a typical genre I would read and therefore there was a lot of information to digest at one time.
I wasn't sure that I liked Norah very much to start with, but as I came to understand her I grew to love her and her tenacity and vibrancy at a time when it would have been difficult to stand up and stand out from the crowd. I found her ambitious and courageous. We could all learn a lot from her.
I found this story to be interesting, insightful and full of facts. It must have taken a lot of research. The writing was very good and quite poetic in places.
I would most definitely recommend it.
Author Bio of Cynthia Neale:
Cynthia Neale is an American with Irish ancestry and a native of the Finger Lakes region in New York. She now resides in Hampstead, New Hampshire. She has long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Potato Famine or “The Great Hunger.” She is a graduate of Vermont College in Montpelier, VT, with a B.A. degree in Literature and Creative Writing. Norah is her first historical novel for adult readers. She is also the author of two young adult novels, The Irish Dresser, A Story of Hope during The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mor, 1845-1850) and Hope in New York City, The Continuing Story of The Irish Dresser. Her forthcoming book, Pavlova in a Hat Box, is a collection of essays and dessert recipes. She is currently researching and writing a sequel to Norah, as well as a novel about Queen Catharine, a Native American of New York whose village was destroyed by General John Sullivan in 1779.
More information can be found about Fireship Press here: http://www.fireshippress.com/