Monday 20 January 2020

New York Orphan by Rosemary J. Kind reviewed b J.J. Toner

Shortlisted for Book Of The Month


"If Dickens was writing today, he would have a worthy competitor in Rosemary Kind"

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 (Tales of Flynn and Reilly Book 1)

Fictional Saga

"From fleeing the Irish Potato Famine, to losing his parents on the ship to New York, seven-year-old Daniel Flynn knows about adversity. As Daniel sings the songs of home to earn pennies for food, pick-pocket Thomas Reilly becomes his ally and friend, until he too is cast out onto the street.
A destitute refugee in a foreign land, Daniel, together with Thomas and his sister Molly, are swept up by the Orphan Train Movement to find better lives with families across America. For Daniel will the dream prove elusive?"

The tale is of Daniel, an orphan, who flees the Great Irish Famine, arriving in New York, penniless and alone. His only asset, his singing voice, earns him a few coins and a friend – another orphan with light fingers. And so the saga starts. The book chronicles the lives of three youngsters, taking us on a heartrending journey, via the Orphan Trains, through brutal slavery to a tense court scene and a hard-fought happy ending.

The villain is as cruel and hard-hearted as any you might encounter, the womenfolk downtrodden but defiant. The inclusion of snippets from Irish folk songs is a clever device, and I couldn’t fault the quality of the dialogue, both Irish and American. There is much in this book to admire and enjoy and to remind the reader of the work of Charles Dickens, and Oliver Twist in particular. If Dickens was writing today, he would write like this and he would have a worthy competitor in Rosemary Kind. 

© J.J. Toner

e-version reviewed

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  1. Thank you. I am delighted you enjoyed the book.

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