From the bestselling author of What Was Mine-a deeply moving family drama about a young Irish immigrant, an ancestral home in New England and a dark secret that lay hidden in its walls for five generations.
In 1908, sixteen-year-old Bridey runs away from her small town in Ireland with her same-age sweetheart Thom. But when Thom dies suddenly of ship fever on their ocean crossing, Bridey finds herself alone and pregnant in a strange new world.
Forced by circumstance to give up the baby for adoption, Bridey finds work as a maid for the Hollingworth family at a lavish, sprawling estate. It's the dawn of a new century: innovative technologies are emerging, women's roles are changing, and Bridey is emboldened by the promise of a fresh start. She cares for the Hollingworth children as if they were her own, until a mysterious death changes Bridey and the household forever. For decades, the terrible secrets of Bridey's past continue to haunt the family. And in the present day, the youngest Hollingworth makes a connection that finally brings these dark ghost stories into the light.
Told in interweaving timelines and rich with detailed history, romance and dark secrets, Helen Klein Ross' THE LATECOMERS spans a century of America life and reminds us all that we can never truly leave the past behind.
As she did in What Was Mine, Ross explores themes of motherhood and family origins in this multigenerational saga. In 1908, 16-year-old Bridey travels from Ireland to New York with her sweetheart Thom in search of financial and romantic independence. But when Thom dies unexpectedly en route, Bridey arrives in America pregnant and alone, struggling to establish a safe and secure future for herself and her child. After a stint in a shirtwaist factory, Bridey is hired as a domestic servant for the wealthy Hollingworth family at their vast Connecticut estate. Bridey and the civic-minded Sarah Hollingworth share vital confidences with one another, but in the wake of a suspicious death, Bridey abruptly discovers the limitations of Sarah's trust. The sprawling narrative travels back and forth in time, with episodes ranging from 1899 to the present. Modern-day episodes especially those focused on the events of 9/11 and its aftermath feel forced and unnecessary, since readers will have already deduced the novel's central mysteries. Far more intriguing are the stories of Bridey and Sarah, both individually and jointly, as their shared secrets collide with their social status. This is a satisfying blend of historical and familial drama.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It was okay.
I was expecting more from this book but it confused me more than anything. It started off well until I started to lose understanding.