At the height of the Civil War, what begins with strong words and a few broken bottles will, over the course of five days, escalate into the worst urban conflagration in American history. Hundreds of thousands of poor Irish immigrants smolder with resentment against a war and a president that have cost them so many of their young men. When word spreads throughout New York'...more
Paradise Alley is a small street populated by a mix of economic and racial folks. We’re concerned with three househ...more
I also LOVED the description of the Irish famine, it was horrible and vividly real.
Organized by character (similar to Game of Thrones, but actually Irish rather than pseudo-Irish), each chapter follows a particular person over the course of the 1863 draft riots. The stories are overlapping and interwoven, som...more
The first 400 pages of the book are about Ruth, an irish girl, who came over to the US with Dolan (a brute she met over in ireland and who saved her life). His entire family died during the potato famine of the 40s and he's going to NYC where his Sister Deirdre lives. She is married to Tom wh...more
While there are an infinite array of threads to this story, the major character focus is on the three women of the saga, all residents of the waterfront slum called Paradise Alley. Having survived everything from the Irish famine to slavery and prostitution, they find themselves once again struggl...more
Basically, the novel takes place over the course of a few days although...more
Baker is a master at writing historical accounts effectively so the reader is completely drawn into the story. His descriptions about life d...more
Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker takes place during the civil war. The setting of this story is in New York. The news has spread that a military draft is coming there way. As the military draft comes we follow the lives of three different women and their will to survive in such a hectic time. All three of their husbands are in the military and they all have children to protect and take care of so they are all worried about the safety of their husbands and the safety...more
Baker's descriptions of New York City could be more pungent only with scratch 'n' sniff inserts. While Dreamland rose...more
Finally got to that part of the stack and read the book. Boy am I glad I did. Excellent read. Fiction, but historically based relative to the draft riots in NYC in 1863 - when President Lincoln announced a new draft to fight the war.
Lots of details regarding sites in NYC, pretty good development of a number of characters, too.
It was really a good read.
I learned that there were - indeed - some Irish that foug...more
After reading Rutherfurd's extremely ambitious historical fiction book "Ne...more