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“The first-person narrative portrays Lorraine’s family and community with realistically drawn personalities and relationships as well as fine-tuned ethical dilemmas, while sketching in the backdrop of the wider catastrophe. A moving personal story.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Napoli skillfully evokes Lorraine’s close-knit community, interweaving elements of Irish culture, history, and land- and seascape in ways that make the story accessible and appealing…a timely reminder about conditions in our current world.” —The Horn Book
Through the eyes of twelve-year-old Lorraine this haunting novel from the award-winning author of Hidden and Hush gives insight and understanding into a little known part of history—the Irish potato famine.
It is the autumn of 1846 in Ireland. Lorraine and her brother are waiting for the time to pick the potato crop on their family farm leased from an English landowner. But this year is different—the spuds are mushy and ruined. What will Lorraine and her family do?
Then Lorraine meets Miss Susannah, the daughter of the wealthy English landowner who owns Lorraine’s family’s farm, and the girls form an unlikely friendship that they must keep a secret from everyone. Two different cultures come together in a deserted Irish meadow. And Lorraine has one question: how can she help her family survive?
A little known part of history, the Irish potato famine altered history forever and caused a great immigration in the later part of the 1800s. Lorraine’s story is a heartbreaking and ultimately redemptive story of one girl’s strength and resolve to save herself and her family against all odds.
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