Interesting story of a young Irish immigrant who comes to New York to begin a new life. Although she's not looking for adventure she ends up in the middle of some dangerous situations. I like the way Christianity is woven into the story. Sometimes God seems far away but our lives are so much better when we trust him and let him lead.
Grace is living in a poorhouse in Ireland when she learns she's been sponsored to come to America. She has no skills and must rely on the kindness of her benefactors to make a living. But when she comes in contact with a photographer and a policeman, her life is changed forever.
The book had an incredibly slow start for me. I was almost half way through before I became engaged enough with the main characters to step into the story. It picked up after that and the characters came more alive. The main female character was a bit dark and depressing for most of the book. I actually enjoyed some of the back ground characters more. The author did a great job of portraying history and the lives of the immigrants, but failed at engaging me with the plot or characters. The romantic aspect of the story was almost non-existent for me. It felt very forced and rushed at the end. So overall this book was only an okay story for me.
I received this book free of charge from Tyndale in exchange for my honest review.
The title, and the cover, of this book drew me in because I, like Grace, love to take pictures and I once had a Brownie, only it was at least 50 years newer than Grace's. I really enjoyed the story and Cindy gave a look into the future with it. The idea of a photo being taken and then used to identify a crook or to use as evidence against someone was a stepping stone to where we are now with phone's that will take pictures, record voices and even movies that can be used for the same thing and even to manipulate people into doing things they don't want to do or to keep a secret you don't want anyone to find out about.
Grace is an Irish young lady who travels the ocean to find a new life in America. When Grace arrives to New York she is captured on camera by a gentleman and so begins her interest in still pictures. Grace buys her first camera, a Brownie from Kodak, to be able to take snapshots of memorable moments. But when Grace is out in a park one day she happens to point her camera in the wrong direction and has a run-in with local gangsters called "The Dusters." Having had a traumatic time with the police force in her home country, Grace is hesitant to seek help from the New York Police department.
Owen McNulty, a New York Police Officer, is committed to helping those less fortunate and strives to "clean up" New York from crime, but Grace has a hard time believing he is genuine. Owen is quite taken with Grace, but is somewhat confused by her cold and disinterested attitude towards him. As he continues to be there for Grace during her struggles she begins to wonder if Owen is truly different from the other selfish policemen that she's had to deal with all of her life.
As Grace lives each day she must learn to place her faith and trust in unlikely sources to learn the true meaning of courage and forgiveness.
I had such high hopes for this book - the cover alone caught my attention and then when I read the back cover I thought for sure this would be a great read. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the middle of the book all I could think of was "Will I ever finish this?" The first part of the book seem to move at a good pace telling the story of Grace and sharing her pain and heartaches from working in a poor house and having to deal with dishonest cops. Then when she gets to New York we find that the most of the policemen there are just as crooked as they were in Ireland which gives Grace a low-view of men in general. She meets Owen McNulty, the honest Police Officer, and has a hard time letting her guard down with him, but when he is always there for her when she is in trouble it seems like maybe some romance will ignite, but then throughout the book they begin to have less and less contact with each other so that by the time they do realize their feelings for each other it seems a little forced. Grace is offered a position with a family, the Parker's, that has many "issues" from the mother not feeling like a mother and giving her children no love or interest to the father wanting his family to not be failures and not show emotion. Grace comes alongside this family as a nanny and begins to discover herself; she begins to see that she can be strong when she is scared. On to the gangsters called "The Dusters"... For me, they were not quite believable. The characters just didn't quite add up to what a gangster would have been like back then. All in all, I would give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. For me, the story fell flat.
*I was given a free copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received.*
Grace McCaffery has all her eggs in one basket - America. Torn away from her mother at a young age, then forced to labor at a workhouse, Grace has had everything but an easy life in Ireland. Her mother married an Irish peeler, (also known as a policeman), and S.P. Feeny sponsors Grace to America. Excited to have an opportunity to begin an independent life and make enough money to bring her mother over from Ireland, Grace sees the future as an adventure waiting to happen.
But of course, nothing ever works out the way she plans. Even after she gets a job as a nanny for a middle-class family, Grace buys a brownie camera to take snapshots and earn extra money. But it seems that no matter where she aims her lens, she is always capturing images that endanger her life and those of her charges. When her camera inadvertently takes a picture of a gang boss and she is being pursued for the portrait, will she be able to trust a policeman to keep her out of harms's way? Will she learn the courage and forgiveness in the faith her mother has tried to pass down to her?
While I love Christian fiction, I was a little unsure of this novel at first. The setting was the all too familiar Ellis island, with an Irish immigrant as the main character of the story. But Thompson quickly won me over with the introduction to "The Hawk", and the many quirky saying of her deceased husband, Mr. Hawkins. Then, the children came along, and I was instantly in love. Between the struggling rich boy turned cop, Officer McNulty, the historically accurate gang called the "Dusters" and the day-to-day struggles and fears faced by a young woman alone in a new country, this book will appeal to not only history buffs but Christian fiction readers alike. A wonderful read, and one I hope turns into a series.
This book was provided for free by Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.