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. Rich in historical detail, Clare allows the reader to live the sights, sounds, and smells of a 1906 journey of immigration.
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 met a cat I couldn't enjoy a conversation with. I tend to make sense of my life in terms of lagom (a Swedish word, which when fleshed out a bit means something like "the art of moderation"). And I was green long before it was trendy.
As for my writing, I'm working on a new edition of "Legends of the Martial Arts Masters" and a novel tentatively titled "How I became a Middle-Aged Warrior on my Summer Vacation".
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.
This was a gut-wrenching endearing story. I loved meandering through life with Clare. The writing did a good job of immersing me in Clare's story. I LOVED, loved, loved the family bond throughout all of their ups and downs.
My only downside is the ending. This book was very long and slowly told a story of 3 siblings. The very end was inspiring to say the least, but left some things open. To my interpretation? Perhaps, but I would have preferred a bit more considering this story is being told when our Clare is in her later days.
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 [warning: spoilers] had just enough money to carry them to Washington -- like Clare, I fabricated all the possibilities of wonderful outcomes for their lives and could feel the despair in the pit of my stomach when they lost the shoonaun and that beautiful fantasy of finding Colum and his family shattered. The ending was beautifully written and perhaps one of the only outcomes I did not expect. For all the hardship they'd been through, the last thing I'd expect [more spoilers!] was for Clare and Tom to get their fairytale ending and for Mick to settle himself down. The author left me almost totally satisfied in a wondering, hopeful sort of way.
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?
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.