Norah McCabe is a young Irish woman in New York in the 1850’s. Having left Ireland and famine behind, work and survival in America was hardly attained through glamour. Hard work and struggles- and the fact that Irish immigrants at the time were not liked at all- Norah’s life in the slum parts of New York revealed the vileness of this time in history.
Norah does what she must to move away from this neighborhood. She lands a job as a reporter for the Irish American and becomes a true social activist. Her adventures lead to catastrophic situations where her life is in serious danger (imagine being drugged in a bordello…). Admittedly, much of the trouble she gets herself into could have been avoided- and, I honestly thought throughout the book, when is this girl going to get it? But this is what keeps the reader going!
I very much enjoyed learning about the history, though painstakingly crude and horrible for the most part. Neale stops at nothing to reveal New York as it was and I believe this is what rng truthful to the portrayal of what immigrant life was really like back then. For me, Norah’s path was a rollercoaster ride that kept me on the edge of my chair- but her decisions often broke my nerves! What Iliked most was the history surrounding Norah’s life.
An enjoyable read.