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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Clare Keane is fourteen years old when her mother dies of pneumonia in the tenement room they share in turn-of-the-century Cork, Ireland. Left with two younger brothers, her closest family thousands of miles away in St. Paul, Minnesota, Clare begins a dangerous journey that takes her from Cork through the port of Queenstown to Ellis Island, New York, and finally St. Paul. ...more
Paperback, 418 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Alcuin Communications, LLC (first published May 4th 2011)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  53 ratings  ·  7 reviews

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Oct 04, 2011 is currently reading it
Shelves: first-read-books
Won this book from a First Reads Giveaway. Very excited to read and review it.

11.29.11 - Halfway through the book and I'm enjoying reading it. Sometimes I forget that Claire is supposed to be a 14 year old girl; she seems very wise, put together, and composed. Her brothers are interesting characters. But I find myself criticizing how she handles her brother Mick most of the time. I guess it was a different time and women acted differently. But if he were my brother - man, things would be differe
Beth Anne
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
i enjoyed this usual. I'm a big fan of this type of thing...main character traveling from another country (especially Ireland) to the United States to start a new life.

Clare and her brothers are all characters I grew to love..and really felt invested in their stories. Nice, rich writing.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Susan Lynn Peterson lets you live beside her characters. You are taken along with them on their journey, you can feel their wants and their fears. You want to take in Clare, her brothers Mick and Tom and give them a big hug. A warming story about family, friendships, hopes, dreams as well the cruelty and unfairness life can bring.
Feb 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was impossible to put down. I've never read a book this long this quickly before. Of course it probably isn't suited to everyone's interests, but as a lover of historical detail and accuracy and having been fascinated for years by the Ellis Island immigration process my own ancestors went through, this story pretty much ticked all the boxes for me. What's more, the plot is riveting taking both uplifting and tragic twists and turns. I could feel my heart soar when the Keane children [wa ...more
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was curious about Clare after reading what the book was about and decided to enter the first-reads giveaway and to my delight I discovered I was a winner! :) I enjoyed this tale of a sister and her 2 brothers journey from Ireland to American in the late 1900s after the death of their mother. These children went through A LOT! A tale of children immigrating on their own and I was rather shocked at the behaviour of some people towards these children. Any chance of a sequel?
Oct 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Fairly good standard fare of an Irish family coming to America. I enjoyed their time in Ireland and the hardships of leaving everything behind especially Clare going to look at a church spire one last time that signified their town even though she didn't attend that particular church.
Judy Spare
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book was filled with excruciating detail. Moved way too slow for me.
Gerrie Long
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Jun 17, 2013
Susan Peterson
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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My name is Susan Lynn Peterson. On most days you'll find me behind my computer writing or out in the garden growing vegetables. I love a good carrot, a good day at the lake, and a good dvd (preferably with horseradish potato chips and homemade hard apple cider). I enjoy Tai Chi and karate, am hugely impressed by the way regular acupuncture and Chinese herbs have improved my life, and have never me ...more

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“Things were different back then. Today if a woman was asked to do the things we did back then, she would revolt, declare that she wasn’t anyone’s slave, wouldn’t be put upon in that fashion. But you have to remember that this was before automatic washers and dishwashers, before blenders and electric knives. If the carpet was going to get cleaned, someone, usually a woman, would have to take a broom to it, or would have to haul it on her shoulders to the yard and beat the dirt out of it. If the wet clothes were going to get dry, someone had to hang them in the yard, take them down from the yard, heat the iron on the fire, press them, and finally fold or hang them. Food was chopped by hand, fires were stoked by hand, water was carried by hand, anything roasted, toasted, broiled, dried, beaten, pressed, packed, or pickled, was done so by hand. Our version of a laborsaving device was called a spouse. If a man had a woman by his side, he didn’t have to clean and cook for himself. If a woman had a man by her side, she didn’t have to go out, earn a living, then come home and wrestle the house to the ground in the evening.” 3 likes
“When Americans find out I grew up in the tenements, the question they invariably ask me is “how did you end up there?” Americans, it seems, find comfort in reasons and explanations. They honestly believe that if they can find the reason for someone else’s misfortune, they can avoid that misfortune themselves. If they could find out how I ended up in the tenements, they could assure themselves that it could never have happened to them.” 2 likes
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