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The Crooked Branch

by

The Crooked Branch Cover

ISBN13: 9780451239242
ISBN10: 0451239245
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the national bestselling and highly acclaimed author of The Outside Boy comes the deeply moving story of two mothers—witty, self-deprecating Majella, who is shocked by her entry into motherhood in modern-day New York, and her ancestor, tough and terrified Ginny Doyle, whose battles are more fundamental: she must keep her young family alive during Ireland’s Great Famine.

After the birth of her daughter Emma, the usually resilient Majella finds herself feeling isolated and exhausted. Then, at her childhood home in Queens, Majella discovers the diary of her maternal ancestor Ginny—and is shocked to read a story of murder in her family history.

With the famine upon her, Ginny Doyle fled from Ireland to America, but not all of her family made it. What happened during those harrowing years, and why does Ginny call herself a killer? Is Majella genetically fated to be a bad mother, despite the fierce tenderness she feels for her baby? Determined to uncover the truth of her heritage and her own identity, Majella sets out to explore Ginny’s past—and discovers surprising truths about her family and ultimately, herself.

Synopsis:

#LINK<Read Jeanine Cummins's posts on the Penguin Blog.># A poignant debut novel of an Irish gypsy boy's childhood in the 1950's by the author of the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven.

Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother's death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle down temporarily in a town where Christy and his cousin can attend mass and receive proper schooling. But they are still treated as outsiders.

As Christy's exposure to a different life causes him to question who he is and where he belongs, the answer may lie with an old newspaper photograph and a long-buried family secret that could change his life forever...

Watch a Video

Synopsis:

It was a headline story in the New York Times and USA Today. It was covered by Court TV and profiled on the Ricki Lake Show. Now, here is the intimate memoir of a shocking crime and its aftermath...one family's immediate and unforgettable story of what victims can suffer long after they should be safe.

About the Author

Jeanine Cummins is the author of the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven, which People magazine called: “…a straightforward, expertly paced narrative that reads like a novel.” She lives in New York City

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Silvers Reviews, March 3, 2013 (view all comments by Silvers Reviews)
Could it be true? Could Majella have inherited the "crazy" gene from her mother's ancestors?

From present-day New York and then back to Ireland in the 1800's, THE CROOKED BRANCH, covers a family's history and tells of a mother's love as well as the heartaches it brings. Majella, the New York mother, and Ginny, the Irish mother, are distant relatives but share the same things every mother wants for her children and also all of the things a mother fears about motherhood and raising a family. Majella is experiencing a fear of having a family link of craziness after she read of a murder committed by her mother's great-grandmother, Ginny, in a diary she found hidden inside the hem of a dress in the attic of her childhood home.

THE CROOKED BRANCH takes the reader through the potato famine in Ireland to present-day New York. The book allows you to spend a day with Majella in New York and then back to a day in Ginny's life during the potato famine in Ireland. You will follow Majella as she struggles with being a stay-at-home mom dealing with postpartum depression. Both women have their families uppermost in their minds with Majella also struggling with her relationship with her own mother. You will follow Ginny as her family struggles to stay alive because there is no food in Ireland and where people are dying on a daily basis. You will follow Ginny as she has to bear the pain of leaving her four young children alone to find work as a chambermaid in an estate that won't allow her to go home at night and whose mistress becomes involved in Ginny's family life.

The book is fast paced and has detailed descriptions of the characters, the scenes, and the character's feelings. I enjoy books that go back and forth in time and especially ones that tell of written accounts from ancestors...especially diaries and also in this case a recording by Ginny's son telling of the events in Ireland and their passage to New York. I was quickly pulled into this moving historical fiction book through Ginny's story.

Ginny's story was much more appealing than Majella's perhaps because of the historical aspect, while Majella tugged more at the heartstrings of modern-day mothers who have to deal with leaving the work force and becoming an isolated, stay-at-home mom. The tale was a bit humdrum through Majella's story, but quite fascinating during Ginny's.

My rating is 4/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780451239242
Author:
Cummins, Jeanine
Publisher:
New American Library
Subject:
Literature-Family Life
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20130331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.02 x 5.38 x 0.73 in 0.61 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Related Subjects

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

The Crooked Branch New Trade Paper
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Product details 400 pages New American Library - English 9780451239242 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,

#LINK<Read Jeanine Cummins's posts on the Penguin Blog.># A poignant debut novel of an Irish gypsy boy's childhood in the 1950's by the author of the bestselling memoir A Rip in Heaven.

Ireland, 1959: Young Christy Hurley is a Pavee gypsy, traveling with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well, haunted by the story of his mother's death in childbirth. The peripatetic life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle down temporarily in a town where Christy and his cousin can attend mass and receive proper schooling. But they are still treated as outsiders.

As Christy's exposure to a different life causes him to question who he is and where he belongs, the answer may lie with an old newspaper photograph and a long-buried family secret that could change his life forever...

Watch a Video

"Synopsis" by ,
It was a headline story in the New York Times and USA Today. It was covered by Court TV and profiled on the Ricki Lake Show. Now, here is the intimate memoir of a shocking crime and its aftermath...one family's immediate and unforgettable story of what victims can suffer long after they should be safe.
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