1848: the third year the potato crop failed in Ireland. The Protestant landlords have absconded back to Britain, leaving the Catholic peasants to fend for themselves, while the English feast on the massive amounts of Irish food they’re importing every day.
With two younger brothers to feed, Molly O’Brien takes her father’s place on the road gang, building a road that runs from her tiny village to the river and no farther. Yet sixteen hours of labor a day will not garner enough wages to buy food for her family.
She is beyond despair. Beyond prayer. And so far beyond the tenets of her childhood, she has decided to offer her body to the first man with the price of a loaf of bread. But when a stranger takes her hand, will her sacrifice be enough to save her siblings?
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Several years ago, I saw an article about a memorial sculpture being installed in County Cork that celebrated the aid the Choctaw Tribe in America gave to the Irish during the Great Potato Famine. My mother has a smidgen of native blood, so the article caught my eye.
As I read it, I realized that my father’s family—coming from County Clare as they did—had to have lived through that famine. I did some research and learned that it was a totally avoidable disaster, which cut Ireland’s population by 25% while food was being exported to England at astronomical rates.
I felt compelled to tell the stories of the survivors—the ones who somehow held body and soul together and found a way to prosper.