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The walking people

by Keane, Mary Beth.

Format: Print Book 2009
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 1 copy
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Location Collection Status
Penn Hills Library Fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Greta Cahill never believed she would leave her village in the west of Ireland until she found herself on a ship bound for New York, along with her sister Johanna and a boy named Michael Ward. Labeled a "softheaded goose" by her family, Greta discovers that in America she can fall in love, raise her own family, and earn a living. Though she longs to return and show her family what she has made of herself, her decision to spare her children knowledge of a secret in her past forces her to keep her life in New York separate from the life she once loved in Ireland, and tears her apart from the people she is closest to. Even fifty years later, when the Ireland of her memory bears little resemblance to that of present day, she fears that it is still possible to lose all when she discovers that her children--with the best of intentions-- have conspired to unite the worlds she's so carefully kept separate for decades. A beautifully old-fashioned novel, The Walking People is a debut of remarkable range and power.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In her debut, Keane marries a deliciously old-fashioned style of storytelling with a fresh take on the immigrant experience. Awkward Greta Cahill struggles to be accepted in her rural village in the west of Ireland. Unlike Johanna, her gregarious, efficient sister, Greta has a hard time performing even the simplest tasks, but her tight-knit family loves her unconditionally and takes pains to ease her way. More and more of their neighbors desert their small village, immigrating to the cities and to America. Then Johanna meets Michael Ward, a gypsy who would like nothing better than to settle in one place, and the Cahill family suffers a terrible tragedy. The sisters, along with Michael, immigrate to New York City, where Johanna has difficulty adjusting, while Greta, surprisingly, finds work immediately and adapts to her new life. Tracking the family from 1956 to the present, Keane gives a heartfelt account of their pain and their joy while also minutely exploring varied settings and occupations. A warm, involving family drama that makes a triumph of Greta's transformation from misfit to capable wife and mother.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2009 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Debut author Keane offers an extended meditation on leaving, finding and making home in a novel focused on the new Irish immigrant experience. Awkward, dreamy Greta Cahill was always in the shadow of her vivacious older sister, Johanna, as the two grew up on the far west coast of Ireland. Surrounded by houses left vacant by neighbors who emigrated, adventurous Johanna dreams of America, especially when, in the aftermath of a family tragedy, she befriends Michael Ward, the son of itinerant tinkers who wants nothing more than to stay in one place. When teenaged Johanna's dream comes true, Michael and Greta are dragged along to America in Johanna's impetuous wake. In New York City, however, Greta and Michael create their own home, happiness and success. The narrative, which extends from 1956 to the present, has the dusty feel of 19th-century literature, though Greta is an appealing character lacking in nostalgia. Her romance is also authentic and unsentimental, and despite the stodgy storytelling, her coming-of-age reflects a fresh take on the lives recent immigrants can create. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Women -- Ireland -- Fiction.
Irish Americans -- Fiction.
Family secrets -- Fiction.
New York (N.Y.) -- Fiction.
Ireland -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Love stories.
Publisher Boston :Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,2009
Language English
Description xxi, 392 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780547126524
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