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Tower of Tears (The McClusky Series, #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
"If God be good, Mr. Landon will burn in the eternal flames of hell. If God be bad, he will suffer much worse."

Despair. Hope. Love. Murder. Betrayal. Mystery. Blackmail. Romance.

In 1820, a young woman embarks on a journey for a better life in America. She brings with her a three year old son, and plans to live with relatives she has never met in Philadelphia. Her loving hu
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Michelle MacQueen
This story gripped my heart from the moment I started reading until I finished. It squeezed and squeezed with sadness but I couldn't look away.

Jane is hoping for a better life in America for her and her son. She is forced to leave behind her husband and everything she knows to go live with relatives whom she has never even met. From the moment she arrives, nothing is as she thought it would be. That "better life" has a much higher cost than she ever imagined. Forced to work and suffer the many
Thom Swennes
“Deanann an suil le haghaidh suil an domhan ar fad dall.”
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”
Mahatma Gandhi
In the emerald-green island of Ireland, times were intolerable. Between 1820 and 1830, Irish lands, centuries owned and farmed by its Irish inhabitants, were parceled off to British aristocrats as rewards for acts and services rendered to the crown. This proves a prelude to even more atrocities in the coming decades. The dream of freedom and a new prosperous life started a great
H.M. Flath
May 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys stories set in a historical context, both in time and place.
Tower of Tears by Rhoda D’Ettore, which I received through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a review, caught my attention immediately. This is the story of Jane, a female Irish immigrant who arrived in the Philadelphia area during the early 1800’s. She came with her son to live with relatives whom she did not know. Her husband was left behind to work the farm and to save money for his own passage.

This story captures the hardships, the tragedies, the fears, the heartaches and takes the reader
Historical references, religious references, the disparity between Ireland and America well presented with accuracy and plausibility. The 1800′s Irish immigrant plight is brought to the forefront in an affecting manner. The characters and varying trials are emotional evoking plenty of empathy.

D’Ettore creates a family saga full of despair, incredible hardship, plenty of tragedy, not to mention betrayal, murder and rape.

The female protagonists are pillars of strength, all victims and yet survivor
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In this story we follow a Jane, as she journeys from Ireland to America in the early 1800's. She lives with relatives she has never met before in Philadelphia. She leaves her husband in Ireland, so that he can take in boarders and continue working the farm to save money for him to meet up with her. She soon realizes she is pregnant and is to pay rent. Then is told she is expected to work in a factory where her boss begins to sexually assault her. Jane feels trapped. She turns to her priest with ...more
Deborah Mitton
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing tale of Irish immigrants coming to America for a better life and what happens to their families both in Ireland and in Philadelphia.

The novel establishes the difficulties that immigrants endured travelling in horrific condition coming at an unknown country with just the clothes on the back and very little else. Without family, it is my guess that very few survived the arrival.

Just as today, there are those that will take advantage of others misfortunates and the author weaves a t
Sharon Brownlie
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a great to start for a series. Rhoda D'Ettore engages the reader to get to know the characters, she also gives us an insight into the social history of a very dark and precarious time. No stone is left unturned as difficult subjects such as sexual exploitation, death and betrayal are examined.
The story is a family saga and I am sure we will see the author progress her characters and her tale in the next series. History has always been a love of mine so I warmed to the book immediately.
Tom N
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book on a Goodreads giveaway. I enjoyed it a lot. Will continue with the series. Would give it a 4.5 if possible.
David Watson
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life was hard for most people in 1820. At the time in Ireland the life expectancy was only 40 years. Most people worked the fields from sun up to sun down and only had Sundays off for church. Twenty-two year old Jane made a promise to her mother that she would take a ship away from Ireland with her three-year old son for a better life in America. Jane’s husband Thomas would join her when he could afford the trip.

As soon as she gets on the ship, Jane finds out she is pregnant and things are going
Anne Scott
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Historical Fiction
Review note: I read this book through Kindle Unlimited.

Tower of Tears by Rhoda D’Ettore takes you down an emotional road, with a realistic, in-depth look at the tribulations and bigotries in early 19th Century America. It is a time when workers labor long and hard for scant wages, women have little rights, and the influx of the Irish population into Philadelphia breeds a fierce hatred there. But for Jane McClusky, who knows nothing about these prejudices, a new life in Philadelphia with cousins
Tony Parsons
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
1820, Ireland; Jane McClusky (22 (25), Mamai, Lindsay) & Liam (3 (8), son) decide to immigrate & set off for America. Thomas McClusky (30 (33), husband, Daid, abusive, Syphilis) & Michael Lindsay (brother) were left behind as they watched the ship pull out from the dock.

Jane had an Aunt Eva Kelly, Katie O'Donnell (daughter, Kelly, 4 children), & Richard Kelly (Eva Brother) who lived in Philadelphia (# 805). 1st stop NY.

After finally arriving Jane (P/G) starts her new job where
Angela Lockwood
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a gripping and tragic story of a young Irish woman, Jane McCluskey, immigrating to America in the 1820’s. The author has clearly done her research and paints a vivid and harrowing picture of the journey to the Promised Land. Jane makes the trip with her infant son, while her husband stays behind to save up for his ticket. It’s a decision they soon both regret as life in America doesn’t turn out the way Jane hopes and her husband copes badly with being on his own. The book heartbreakingly ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore is the first book in the The McClusky Series. As many Irish immigrants in the early 1800's left to seek a better life in America, Jane McClusky and her small son leave Ireland to live with family, while her husband stays behind to save money so that he may join them. Jane was not prepared for what awaits her in America. As soon as she gets there she is told by her cousin Kate that to earn her keep she must work. A job has been procured for her already at the Spar ...more
Eric Lahti
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tower of Tears is Rhoda D’Ettorre’s look at the life of a family in 19th century United States. There’s relgious tension, class tension, and nationality tension. This was the time of life in the United States where the country was a much different place. People worked six days a week for a pittance, laborers had very little recourse under the law, women had precisely zero rights, and signs telling the Irish to not appl were commonplace.

This is the lan of opportunity that Jane, an Irish immigrant
L. Eira
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book totally stole my heart. From page one I was gripped. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but Tower Of Tears starts off quickly setting up the necessary backstory and the elements that lead the McClusky family to their decision to separate in the hopes of achieving a better life for themselves in America, but in the end leading to multiple unanticipated problems. The book was a fast read and it didn’t let go of me until I was finished. I devoured this book.

L'Ettore balances good writing
Melanie P. Smith
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Tower of Tears is an historical fiction novel set in the early 1800’s. It follows the life of a young woman (Jane) and her son (Liam) as they leave their husband and father (Thomas) behind in Ireland to travel to America in hopes of a better life. Thomas plans to remain in Ireland with Jane’s brother (Michael) until he can raise the funds to join his family at a later date. Although Jane and Thomas were happy together in Ireland, the separation proves catastrophic for both in the end.

Jane disco
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tower of Tears by Rhoda D’Ettore is a captivating tale of immigrant life in the 19th century. If half-stars were available, I would give this book 3.5 stars.

The story captures the hardships, tragedies, and fears of 19th century immigrants. The harsh realities of discrimination and hard times come as quite a shock to the Irish who come looking for a better life in the shadow of crop failure and starvatio
Jennifer Reynolds
I love this novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves seeing the world and our history how it truly is/was and not as the Hollywood version we pretend it is/was.

Tower of Tears takes you on an emotional roller coaster as it explores the lives of an Irish family who has migrated to America. The novel focuses mainly on Jane, a timid, wonderful, loving woman who travels to America with her young son at the behest of her husband and to fulfill her mother’s final wish that she go to America to
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy reading well drawn historical fiction sagas where the character decides to leave their home country and come to America hoping for a better life. That's just what I found within the pages of Tower of Tears by Rhoda D'Ettore.Gripping from the beginning pages, when the McClusky family longs for a better life than what they have in Ireland and decide to travel to America, specifically Philadelphia, because they have relatives there. Thing is there isn't money for the entire family to ...more
Brooke Showalter (Brooke Blogs)
Review (and giveaway thru 9/26) appears on Brooke Blogs:

Tower of Tears by Rhoda D’Ettore is an interesting historical fiction novel. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading it. I liked the characters and the author did a nice job with the settings and descriptions. I found myself drawn into the story very early on and needing to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. I liked the different conflicts and dynami
Susanne Leist
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a superb tale of an Irish woman, Jane McClusky, who travels to Philadelphia with her son. Her husband is left behind to raise money for his voyage and to support them. It is the 1820's. Women are treated like second class citizens. Jane is weakened by this journey and all else that happens to her in the promised land. The book describes the poor living and working conditions of immigrants. It also shows the contempt people had for the Irish as they overflowed into Philadelphia.
Jane lives
May 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tower of Tears by Rhoda D’Ettore is a compelling book about an Irish family, who immigrated to America during the 1800’s, looking for a better life. What they experienced instead though, was prejudice, betrayal and even murder.

Jane boarded the ship heading for America with her son, Liam while Thomas her husband, tearfully watched from Ireland’s shore. They had never been separated before, but life on their farm had become too difficult. Thomas promised to join Jane as soon as he could. It took
Theresa Needham fehse
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
free book fro honest review.

A powerful read that provides a look back into history. D’Ettore is clearly very well informed, thus able to paint the reader a vivid picture of the time in which this novel takes place. I’m immediately submerged into the dramatic lives of Jane & family and pleasantly surprised when the book does not always stick to my predictions.

Reading this book, I’m surprised to realize my open mind – normally I wouldn’t be able to muster up much
Amy Shannon
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this down. The story of Jane, who immigrated to American in the 1800's from Ireland, bringing her only son, but having to leave behind her husband, because they couldn't afford to go to America together. It demonstrates the horror and sadness of having to leave behind her love, travel on a ship for weeks in disgusting conditions, only to get to America. To live the American dream, when it is not all that she hoped it would be. It's a constant struggle for the characters, which are ...more
Diana Febry
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommend to fans of historical fiction.
The story follows a young Irish couple, their son and a brother as they leave Ireland in search of a new life in Philadelphia in America. There they find friendship and love but also betrayal and hardships as they adjust to their new country.
In telling the story the author does not shy away from the political and economical problems in Ireland, prejudice on the basis of race and religion in America, alcoholism, the weak status of women and the attitudes of
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A powerful read that provides a look back into history. D’Ettore is clearly very well informed, thus able to paint the reader a vivid picture of the time in which this novel takes place. I’m immediately submerged into the dramatic lives of Jane & family and pleasantly surprised when the book does not always stick to my predictions.

Reading this book, I’m surprised to realize my open mind – normally I wouldn’t be able to muster up much respect for a woman who stays in a relationship with certa
Christoph Fischer
“Tower of Tears” by Rhoda D’Ettore is a gripping historical saga about an Irish woman, Jane McClusky who emigrates to Philadelphia in the 1820s. An unexpected pregnancy, discovered on her passage to the US, weakens her prospects of a successful and prosperous life and gets her into an awful situation.
The book shows perfectly the moral and sexist views of the time. With great sensitivity and insight this book is thought provoking as it is entertaining.
Jane’s pregnancy and work life however are o
A Holland Reads
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was happy to read this book as it has a lot of things that interest me, Ireland immigrant, 1800s time period, mystery, romance it has it all. Rhoda did a very good job developing the characters as well as the settings as I felt as if I knew the characters forever and could picture myself everywhere they were. Jane was such a strong woman to leave her husband and move to a new country with her son to live with relatives she did not know to start a new life, I don't think I could have done that. ...more
Linda Marie Marsh
This is the 2nd book i've read by D'ettore and i remain impressed.
Others have written of the storyline so i will just say that the author proves once again that she has the innate ability to write with warmth, intelligence, and to get into the readers heart.
AND she does her research- making the characters and settings inviting and real. THIS book brings to life the tribulations of Jane, an Irish immmigrant who faces astronomical upheaval ....part one in a series that promises to be enjoyable
Rita Chapman
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rhoda D'Ettore's Tower of Tears is set in the 1800's and tells the story of Jane McClusky's journey from Ireland to America with her three year old son, Liam, whilst her husband stays in Ireland to earn enough money for his passage. Jane's trials and tribulations on arriving in Philadelphia, despite living with family, lead you to turn the next page. The Tower of the factory where she works can be seen from all over the city and Jane sometimes feels as if it is haunting her, as she waits for her ...more
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I come from a large family in the Philadelphia suburbs of New Jersey. I have always loved history, true crime, and biographies. Very rarely have I dabbled in fiction, unless it was James Patterson or Danielle Steel--- and of course, some "naughty" stuff as well.

I once did my family tree, and found the following:

My family had postal workers going back to 1820.

My great great uncle has an FBI file fo