Dorothy Salisbury Davis brings to life the joys, hardships, and challenges of the Irish in New York City, following the lives of five people from their voyage to America in 1848 through 15 turbulent years.
When the Valiant weighs anchor, the Irish that are crammed into her hold break into song, and with the hymn, say good-bye to the island of their birth. Famine, nationalism, and sectarian strife have crippled the Emerald Isle, and those who can afford it crowd aboard leaky ships, risking death for the possibility of a better life. Among the Valiant's passengers are Peg and Norah Hickey, a pair of lovely young runaways; powerful and charming Dennis Lavery, who sets his sights on Tammany Hall; tough urchin Vinnie Dunne; and Stephen Farrell, a lawyer and journalist who waded into troubled political waters in Ireland. While they begin their journey with optimism in their hearts, as their fortunes prosper in the new world, their lives will be touched in ways they would never expect - by disillusionment, corruption, and the violence of America's Civil War. A tribute to her mother’s homeland, this historical novel was the first work of fiction published by Dorothy Salisbury Davis that did not deal with crime and criminals. Nonetheless, she brings to it the same insightful characterization, lively pacing, and engrossing drama that mark her as one of the finest mystery authors of all time.