Cynthia G. Neale

Goodreads Author


Born
in Albany, NY, The United States
January 07

Website

Twitter

Genre

Member Since
June 2009

URL


Cynthia Neale is an American with Irish ancestry and an Irish set dancer who loves to travel to Ireland and experience its beauty and haunting mystery. She has long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Famine. She grew up in Watkins Glen, New York and now lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. The Irish Dresser is her first novel, and the sequel, Hope in New York City, has been available since early 2008.

'NORAH, The Making of An Irish-American Woman in 19th Century New York' is being released by Lucky Press LLC on March 1, 2011. It is an adult novel that continues the story of Norah McCabe in New York City. Scant historical attention has narrowly defined the Irish immigrant woman. A
...more

To ask Cynthia G. Neale questions, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Cynthia G. Neale There's a last-gasp, egotistical pursuit to be published and it's very easy for anyone to publish a book. Make sure you aren't compromising yourself a…moreThere's a last-gasp, egotistical pursuit to be published and it's very easy for anyone to publish a book. Make sure you aren't compromising yourself and the real writers. Find out if you are a writer. Everyone should keep a journal and use writing for therapy, but not everyone should write a novel. If you come alive in no other way than when you write, pursue the craft with all your passion. This means to write each day if you can, read, read, and read, and go to conferences, find a mentor, a writers' group, meditate, cry, and then re-write and re-write. And then look into how to get published, but only then. Unless, of course, you want to write sloppy prose just to see your name in print. "Better to write for yourself and have no public than write for the public and have no self" ~ Cyril Connolly(less)
Cynthia G. Neale Norah McCabe, the protagonist in NORAH: The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York, came to me as a child of thirteen in my first …moreNorah McCabe, the protagonist in NORAH: The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York, came to me as a child of thirteen in my first children’s novel, The Irish Dresser, A Story of Hope During The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mor, 1845-1850). I had been roused to read all things Irish because heretofore I hadn’t been privy to the knowledge of my Irish heritage. As a writer, The Great Hunger period of Irish history grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go. There was a message, a gift, that had been given to the rest of the world through music, literature, dance, and spirit. There have been horrid “ethnic cleansing” periods in world history, and this event (the worst disaster of the 19th century) was indeed the same.
The only knowledge most American students learn is from high school history texts, “Over a million people perished in Ireland from the loss of the potato crop.” John Walters writes, “Surveys, I’m told, indicate that the Irish people do not want to hear about the Famine. But it is also precisely why the subject must be talked about until we remember the things we never knew.” As a writer with a heart beating fast in learning Irish dancing, as well as my history, I knew this was a subject that would become the vehicle for a story. Tom Hayden writes in Irish Hunger, “There are unmarked famine graves in all of us.”
In 1997, although working on other stories, I felt compelled and inspired to write a story set in this time period. I was dancing one evening at an Irish pub and looked up at the well-known poster titled, “Irish Dresser,” which is in every pub in Ireland and in a few pubs in this country. The poster is of a photograph taken in the 1960s of an 1800s Irish dresser (comparable to what we know as a china cabinet). On the dresser, there are china cups, a photo of JFK and the Pope, and a red hen scratching on the floor in front of big cupboard doors. As I danced, I imagined a young girl suffering from hunger and tragedy, but dreaming of a better life when she climbed inside this place of refuge, her hiding place, and place of hope. Norah McCabe eventually travels across the sea to America hidden away in this dresser. After I wrote the first book and found a publisher, I thought I was finished telling her story. But I couldn’t leave her on the shores of America, and I also learned through genealogical research that there was a real Norah McCabe who had come from Ireland to NYC in 1847!
I had a few epiphanies that convinced me I was writing about a real person who had lived during this period. And so I wrote Hope in New York City that continued her story of survival in her new country, a country that despised the Irish immigrant. And then once again I assumed her story was over, but my heart was still being clutched and I felt the stirrings of a young woman’s dreams and struggles. And the more I read about New York City and America during the years prior to the Civil War and post massive immigration, the more intrigued I became. It was a time of Abolitionism, the Nativist Movement, and the Women’s Rights Movement was in its heyday. There were uprisings, bank runs and crashes, riots, violence, and xenophobia.
I imagined the child, Norah, becoming a vibrant and determined young woman who desires to desperately climb out of her Irish skin as much as she wants to keep it. She doesn’t want the limitations of her race and dreams of success, but still longs to return to Ireland. The two children’s books about Norah McCabe convinced me she still had a story to tell and so I trusted her to continue her story through me. And so she did!
(less)
Average rating: 4.14 · 125 ratings · 46 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Irish Dresser: A Story ...

4.33 avg rating — 43 ratings — published 2003
Rate this book
Clear rating
Norah: The Making of an Iri...

3.89 avg rating — 44 ratings — published 2011 — 6 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
The Irish Milliner

4.25 avg rating — 20 ratings3 editions
Rate this book
Clear rating
Hope in New York City: The ...

4.18 avg rating — 17 ratings — published 2008
Rate this book
Clear rating
Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
More books by Cynthia G. Neale…

Upcoming Events

No scheduled events. Add an event.

Hope in New York City, The Continuing Story of The Irish Dresser (Children's Books)
1 chapters   —   updated Dec 09, 2009 10:19AM
Description: This sequel continues the saga of Nora McCabe and her family now dwelling in New York City where they encounter poverty and racism as Irish Catholics and immigrants. Injustice and violence are a matter of course in this mysterious and alluring city filled with strange languages. Desperately homesick, Nora vows to save money and return to her homeland of Ireland. Meanwhile, she becomes a newsboy, meets Walt Whitman, visits Barnum's Museum, meets new friends, and experiences an adventure. After purchasing a ticket to return to Ireland, the Astor Opera House Riot of 1849 occurs and her father disappears. Will Nora return to Ireland? Or can she stay and maintain her spirit while finding the true meaning of home?
The Irish Dresser, A Story of Hope during The Great Hunger (Children's Books)
1 chapters   —   updated Dec 09, 2009 10:13AM
Description: During the Irish Famine from 1845 to 1850 over a million people perished due to hunger and fever. Thousands of ships brought more than two million Irish people to North America in search of food. The Irish Dresser is the saga of the McCabe family who struggle to survive during this difficult time. When thirteen-year-old Nora McCabe crawls into the old dresser that sits next to the hearth holding a few pieces of her mother s china, she dreams of luscious cakes and fairies as hunger pains grip her. It is in the dresser that Nora finds hope when her father declares they must leave their beloved Ireland for America. Hidden in the dresser aboard the ship traveling to a new land, Nora lives an adventure that transforms her life and turns hope into a reality.
Thirst: A Novel
Rate this book
Clear rating

 
Wynfield's Kingdom
Cynthia Neale is currently reading
by Marina Julia Neary (Goodreads Author)
bookshelves: currently-reading
read in December, 2013
Rate this book
Clear rating

Cynthia Neale Cynthia Neale said: " A tale of a wild child orphan in a mid-Victorian London slum with all its depravity and vice morphs into sorrowful victory of spirit and a surprising course of events. Love, as dysfunctional as it can be, is still passionate and real amongst the char ...more "

 
Let the Great Wor...
Cynthia Neale is currently reading
by Colum McCann (Goodreads Author)
bookshelves: currently-reading
Rate this book
Clear rating

 

Cynthia’s Recent Updates

Cynthia Neale is now friends with David Surette
Cynthia Neale rated a book it was amazing
Educated by Tara Westover
Educated
by Tara Westover (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
This young author rose from the ashes of a cult-like, survivalist Mormon family. A family who loved profoundly, but dangerously smothered their children. Her insular upbringing, being cut off from school attendance, the violence of an angry, disturbe ...more
Cynthia Neale rated a book really liked it
Little Faith by Nickolas Butler
Little Faith
by Nickolas Butler (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
I couldn't wait to retire early to read this novel, as I became enamored with Lyle, the 65 year old protagonist and his love for life, his wife, Peg, daughter, Shiloh, and especially his grandson, Isaac. Seeing rural Wisconsin through Lyle's poetic e ...more
Cynthia Neale rated a book it was amazing
Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories & Desserts by Cynthia G. Neale
Rate this book
Clear rating
Cynthia Neale rated a book it was amazing
The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale
The Irish Milliner
by Cynthia G. Neale (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
Cynthia Neale has read
The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale
The Irish Milliner
by Cynthia G. Neale (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
Cynthia Neale rated a book it was amazing
Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano
Elizabeth Street
by Laurie Fabiano (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
Another immigrant story based on real events and characters that had me reading late into the night. The setting is in New York in the beginning of the twentieth century. The author tells the tale of the Italian immigrant, Giovanna Costa, who attempt ...more
Cynthia Neale rated a book liked it
The Girl from the Savoy by Hazel Gaynor
The Girl from the Savoy
by Hazel Gaynor (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
My third or fourth novel by Hazel Gaynor and it was yet another interesting novel that kept me reading late into the night. A coming of age novel set in London after the Great War about Dolly, a young chambermaid desiring to go on the stage. While at ...more
Cynthia Neale rated a book really liked it
A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor
Rate this book
Clear rating
Another engaging novel with interesting twists and turns about impoverished orphaned sisters in London in 1876 who were flower sellers. Tragedy ensues and years later, there is Tilly in 1912, who becomes a housemother for a home for the orphaned flow ...more
Cynthia Neale rated a book really liked it
The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor
The Girl Who Came Home
by Hazel Gaynor (Goodreads Author)
Rate this book
Clear rating
Inspired by real events regarding the Titanic, the voice of Maggie Murphy, the protagonist, is sweet, hopeful, and climbed inside my head and heart. One of many tales of immigrants seeking a better life in America, the story is surprisingly refreshin ...more
More of Cynthia's books…
“I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing.”
Daniel Hillel

25350 THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB — 6813 members — last activity 14 hours, 49 min ago
ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!- from current fiction, thrille ...more



No comments have been added yet.