The Irish Milliner by Cynthia Neale
Goes on sale June 2, 2017
The story of Norah McCabe continues...
It is New York City and the Civil War is brewing. Norah McCabe, an Irish immigrant who escaped the Famine as a child, is now a young widow with a daughter. She is a milliner, struggling to survive in tumultuous times. Norah meets Abraham Lincoln, befriends the extraordinary African-American woman Elizabeth Jennings, and assists the Underground Railroad. She falls headlong in love with Edward M. Knox, son of the famous hat-maker Charles Knox, but he is lace curtain Irish and she is shanty Irish. Edward joins the 69th regiment and leaves for battle. Can their love endure through class differences and war?
This is a story of survival, intrigue, romance, as well as, exploring the conflict of Irish immigrants thrust into a war that threatened to destroy a nation. It is about an Irish-American woman who could be any immigrant today, any woman today, seeking to create beauty and make sense of her life.
“Suddenly the Civil War seems very relevant and Cynthia Neale does a great job of focusing on the role of the Irish in the conflict. And it's great fun to be in touch with her wonderful character, Norah McCabe, again!” ~Mary Pat Kelly, author of Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood
“This timely novel spans centuries to bring to our attention to a topic as old as yesterday, as expedient as tomorrow¾emigration. Neale's work, written with love and insight, reminds us that our neighbor is all mankind.” ~Tim Pat Coogan, Irish broadcaster, journalist, writer and author of 1916 The Easter Rising, Michael Collins and The Famine Plot
“Cynthia Neale's beautifully written well-researched novel is a gift for our times. To witness the immigrant experience at a tumultuous period in our history through the eyes of The Irish Milliner and Norah McCabe softens the heart, expands the mind, and drives home once again Burke's quote, ‘Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.’” ~Joanna Rush, actor, playwright, author of Asking For It
“It’s a pleasure to take up the story again of warm-hearted Norah battling against the odds in this fascinating account of a pivotal time in American history.” ~Kristen Gleeson, author of In Praise of Bees, The Celtic Knot Series, and Anahareo, A Wilderness Spirit
“The Irish Milliner is a finely-crafted novel and powerful story of a woman caught in the social and political backwash of a rapidly-changing country that will shape her and her family’s lives forever. Norah McCabe is an unforgettable Irish-American woman who is spirited and imbued with a remarkable sense of independence and self-will, of steely courage and a burning desire for justice and human rights for all¾black or white, slave or freeman. Above all, it is her unshakable and buoyant spirit that shines through these pages. It is a story that stays with you long after you put the book down.” ~PJ Curtis, A Nightingale Falling, now an Irish feature film
“Cynthia Neale’s passion for a bygone era races across the pages of The Irish Milliner with literary grace, poignancy and perfection—she captivates the reader! We are instantly engaged with Norah McCabe, a more than three-dimensional character with surprising grit and the ability to survive, and ultimately thrive, in the face of ever-present turmoil and the uncertainties of 19th century New York.” ~Lucinda Marcoux, King of the Forest