Synopses & Reviews
An engrossing, epic American drama told from four distinct perspectives, spanning the first major wave of Irish immigration to New York through the end of the Civil War.
Four unique voices; two parallel love stories; one sweeping novel rich in the history of nineteenth-century America. This remarkable debut draws from the great themes of literature—famine, war, love, and family—as it introduces four unforgettable characters. Ethan McOwen is an Irish immigrant whose endurance is tested in Brooklyn and the Five Points at the height of its urban destitution; he is among the first to join the famed Irish Brigade and becomes a celebrated war photographer. Marcella, a society girl from Spain, defies her father to become a passionate abolitionist. Mary and Micah are slaves of varying circumstances, who form an instant connection and embark on a tumultuous path to freedom.
All four lives unfold in two beautiful love stories, which eventually collide. Written in gorgeous language that subtly captures the diverse backgrounds of the characters, and interspersed with letters, journals, and dreams, this unforgettable story, rendered in cinematic detail, is about having faith in life's great meaning amidst its various tangles.
"In Troy's debut, the worlds of an Irish immigrant, a New York society girl, and two slaves collide via the fight against slavery and the Civil War. This historical saga begins during Ireland's Great Famine and brings readers through to post Civil War America. In 1847, Ethan McOwen arrives in New York City to pursue a new life with his family. By the time the Civil War begins, the McOwen family has established a comfortable life, with Ethan having become a respected photographer. Ethan and his friends join the famous Irish Brigade, and he begins documenting the war through his photographs. Later, at an exhibition of his work, Ethan meets Marcella Arroyo, a beautiful, sophisticated woman who's chosen to shun her family's wealth and dedicate herself to abolition. Meanwhile, in Richmond, Va., slaves Mary and Micah lead two very different lives. While Micah suffers constant abuse and sleeps on a pile of hay, Mary's owners consider themselves kind, providing her with 'privileges' such as a bedroom. They soon fall in love, and unusual circumstances eventually bring all four characters together. Except for the predictable Marcella, the depth of Troy's characters offers compelling insights into the Civil War era." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
PETER TROY is a former journalist and high school history teacher. He lives in New York State, where he is at work on his next novel.