Here at last is one Irish family's epic journey, capturing the tragedy and triumph of the Irish-American experience. In a rousing tale that echoes the myths and legends of Ireland herself, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family, inhabiting a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations. Selling both their catch--and their crops--to survive, these people subsist on the potato crop--their only staple food. But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees in one of the greatest rescues in human history: the Irish Emigration to America. Danger and hardship await them there. Honora and her unconventional sister Maire watch their seven sons as they transform Chicago from a frontier town to the "City of the Century", fight the Civil War, and enlist in the cause of Ireland's freedom. The Kelly clan is victorious. This heroic story sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's 44 million Irish Americans.
In the author's colorful and eclectic life, she has written and directed award-winning documentaries on Irish subjects, as well as the dramatic feature Proud. She's been an associate producer on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, written books on Martin Scorsese, World War II, and Bosnia, and a novel based on her experiences as a former nun - Special Intentions. She is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine and has a PhD in English and Irish literature.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - hsudonym - LibraryThing
O us Irish descendants rejoice! Here is a book that breathes life into the perpetual struggle of the Irish people. I loved this book. In fact I wish I wrote it! Because of years of researching my ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - dissed1 - LibraryThing
I wanted to love Galway Bay, by Mary Pat Kelly. I was hoping it would be one of those really great sagas that stay with you forever. Sadly, I couldn't put this book behind me quick enough. Much that I ... Read full review
The Wars 18611866
The Great Starvation 18451848
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR READING GROUP GUIDE