About the Book:
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.
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.
I don’t know where to begin with this book as it was truly a gem. Mr. Troy has crafted really three love stories in this novel; that of the two main couples and a third for what we all long for, home. Ethan leaves Ireland during “The Hunger” after losing his beloved sister and comes to America to live with his father and brother. Mary, a slave is first horribly treated and then uplifted but still enslaved. Marcella, a woman of means and family breaks from her family as soon as she can because she knows she is more than just a pawn for her father’s use and Micah, a slave sold away from his family who is a brilliant carpenter and engineer but who is treated like an animal.
These four distinct individuals travel different paths through the Civil War yet will come together to form a lasting bond. But it won’t be easy traveling for any of them. Each character is unique, well defined and surrounded by a strong cast of supporting characters that help to tell the story. Mr. Troy has a way with his writing that is as different as any I have read; he slips from first person to second to third and you hardly notice as you find yourself so engrossed in the tale being told. The grammar and syntax changes for each character as well keeping true to their heritage and station in life. Even when they interact within a chapter they maintain their manner of speaking and description. This book is a marvel.
The Civil War plays an important role as well – the harm it did to the young men that fought and to the country as a whole. Marcella is an abolitionist so the slavery issue is front and center – Mary experiences the worst that a female slave can and then rises high; not understanding for a long while what freedom truly brings.
The writing is magical even when dealing with the worst of what one human can do to another. Mr. Troy truly has that way with words that makes it hard to put a book down. He beguiles you into his world and despite its hardships you don’t want to leave. This will be a book that enters my to be read again shelf.
You can purchase May the Road Rise up to Meet You on Amazon.com
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Disclosure: I received a copy of May the Road rise up to Meet You from Random House a division of Doubleday Publishing. Any opinions expressed are my honest opinions and were not impacted by my receipt of the free book. I received no monetary compensation for this post.