Lost on Cherry Street de Jack Donahue

de Jack Donahue - Género: English
libro gratis Lost on Cherry Street


Jack Donahue Publisher: Willow River Press, Year: 2024 ISBN: 9781958901885,9781958901892,2024934282

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In his debut historical fiction novel, "Lost on Cherry Street", Jack Donahue traces the lives of three generations of the Callaghan family from Tipperary, Ireland to the Hudson Valley and lower Manhattan of New York. From attempting to escape the Irish Great Hunger (potato famine), to the development of Lower Manhattan under the influence of Tammany Hall, through the Civil War period and the Great Depression we learn about the successes and failures of the Callaghans.

Considering the title and the cover, the reader cannot help but wonder who is lost? Who is this young girl? Where is she? Why aren’t there other people around to help her? On the other hand, does “lost” refer to other ways of being adrift besides physical ones? Our characters have their share of losses as they cross the Atlantic, enter an unknown land and strive to survive in their new country. However, through time, some also lose sight of their values and beliefs. This leads to actions and decisions that all members of their families cannot support. In addition to these, loss of self-worth can have a devastating effect on anyone in this family.

Donahue craftfully demonstrates how his characters’ actions can reward or haunt them throughout their lives and the lives of their successors. Relationships forged during the mid-1850s still affected their family in the 1930s. Beginning with Stephen Callaghan’s journey to America to accept a job from Matthew Flaherty, a United States Congressman representing New York City’s Lower East Side, Donahue shows how every action has a consequence, be it positive or negative. His family and their descendants make an impact on New York City and upstate New York. How then, can we learn in the prologue that his grandson, Jim, is regarded “less important than a family dog.” Powerful language to demonstrate how invisible he was, but it raises the question, “Why?” Is Jim totally responsible for his situation in life? What led to this invisibility? Can he escape this oppressive state and raise himself? Who will help him and will he accept any assistance?

To help his readers feel they are a part of the narrative, the author uses illustrative and figurative language. We can picture ourselves listening to the narrator as he relates how Stephen’s son, James, proposed to Nellie.
“As the sea laps the shore of Killala Bay
And pink bells of heather peal in the autumn sun
I see her eyes mirror the bluest sky
As heavenly angels whisper, she is the one”
We can hear the waves gently licking the shore and the wind gently moving the heather as we smell the salty air.

The Callaghan’s saga is engrossing. Searching for answers to questions as we read, we are propelled to read more and more. We become absorbed with this family and those with whom they come in contact, rooting for some members and hoping that others get their due. The historical setting and keen attention to authenticity of the locales and its cultures provides a captivating background. "Lost on Cherry Street" is a must read for those interested in family sagas, Irish immigration, and New York City’s Lower East Side in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
3 s Katie1 review1 follower

Lost on Cherry Street is a multi-generational historical drama centered on one Irish American immigrant family, The fictional story is intertwined with several actual events, including the Great Famine, passage on coffin ships, draft riots during the Civil War, corruption at Tammany Hall, and prohibition.

Donahue is a lyrical writer whose elegant descriptions of people and places added greatly to the story. For example, the One Horse Tavern “has a rustic charm with sawdust sprinkled on the uneven wood plank floor, a potbelly stove, and an assortment of plain, mismatched chairs butted up against random square, rectangular, and round pinewood tables.” I could certainly see the tavern and could almost smell the atmosphere.

His descriptions of characters are equally masterful. A key character has “a prominent aquiline nose, and deep creases flaring out from the nose to the corner of his lips. Lips that were so thin they gave the appearance of being pencil drawn. His skin was coarsely pockmarked with the marbleized grayish coloration of pigeon droppings.” Further, Donahue writes in the vernacular of his characters, using phrases and dialects that would be familiar in that time and place, so I could not only “see” his characters, I could “hear” them clearly.

Donahue’s research is impressive. Not only did he research events, he also researched the places he cites. many immigrants, the family settles in New York City on Cherry Street which still exists. It is surrounded by the streets and parks that are named in the story, making it easy to follow the journeys of the many characters that inhabit the book. Further, there are several Lenape characters whose stories are intertwined with the Irish family’s, and homage is paid to the Lenape by folding them into the book. The Lenape originally landed at the site of what is now Corlear Hooks Park, adjacent to Cherry Street, and named in a pivotal event in the book.

Lost on Cherry Street is sprinkled with songs and poems, no surprise since Donahue is a published poet, but the songs and poems lend themselves to the rhythm and lyricism of the book.

The irish story is the American story, full of love and loss, triumph and tragedy, and sorrow and joy. You will not be disappointed in this well-written, well-paced, and well-researched story.3 s Philip Wax1 review1 follower

This novel of historical fiction is a story of lives lost, lives destroyed, and lives lived fully. Lives intertwined in a beautiful tapestry. We journey with those sometimes enigmatic lives from Devil's Bit in Ireland to the Devil's lair on Cherry Street. The journey is arduous, at times tumultuous. Tragedy and the ever-present specter of death seem to lurk around every corner the Callaghans turn. As with all journeys, this one, too, begins with a first step. A step that Stephen Callaghan takes to board the ship "Swan". Unbeknownst to Stephen, a feisty Peggy O'Rourke had also taken a first step. Hers would take a circuitous route that, nevertheless, would lead her to Cherry Street. And to Stephen.

Upon her arrival in Ossining, New York, Peggy made a lasting impression upon Matthew Flaherty, a powerful congressman and Tammany Hall leader. Years later, she finds herself under his employ, along with Stephen Callaghan, already entrenched in Flaherty's profitable New York City real estate enterprise, building tenements for the Irish and other immigrant groups.

Stephen and Peggy overcome a tempestuous working relationship by falling in love, marrying, and rearing the next generation of Callaghans.

What follows is a brief period of prosperity and peace, interrupted by a series of intriguing and mysterious encounters with strange fellow employees, Lenapes and mobsters - involving murder, revenge and the disappearance of the two five-year-old daughters of Stephen, and Peggy's eldest son, James Callaghan, a prison keeper at the notorious Sing Sing prision.

Throughout the journey, each piece of the Callaghan family puzzle is deftly placed. And although the Callaghans travel in Spartan conditions, the reader's journey is opulent and rewarding. Along the way, there is a steady diet of rich vocabulary, vivid images, and precise prose. We become the Callaghans, celebrating their infrequent successes and suffering their myriad pains. Mournful that the journey has ended yet eagerly awaiting the next time the author will invite us along.follow-the-callaghans3 s Susan Ruppel1 review2

Jack Donahue’s debut historical novel is a sweeping saga of the Callaghan Family, which transports us from the blighted potato years of 1840s Ireland to the start of the 1930s Great Depression America. As Peggy O’Rourke, who becomes part of the first generation when she marries Stephen Callaghan, emigrates to America, we experience the hardships, trials, and privations that she and the other immigrants endure in their quest for a better life, both onboard the over-crowded, disease-ridden ship, and as they settle into tenement life in NYC.

The family’s constant struggle to survive in their newfound home is reflected in the rough & tumble existence of the 2nd and 3rd generations of Callaghan children. The vivid descriptions of their successes and failures, written in the lyrical dialogue of their Irish forebears, carries the reader along through the American Civil War, Prohibition, and the corrupt politics of Tammany Hall.

Mr. Donahue’s novel is beautifully written and it is evident that both the Irish and American geography and history have been painstakingly researched. An engrossing read altogether!
2 s Reader1 review2

A bittersweet saga of several generations of Irish men and women who sought refuge from the famine in Ireland by facing the harsh conditions of sailing to America and starting a new life. The book keeps one's interest and the characters come to life as they encounter the harsh realities as well as the joys of life in a new world. We see how each succeeding generation of the family faced differing challenges and responded - sometimes with heroic efforts and sometimes by abject failure. Several plot twists makes it difficult to put the book down as we are left wondering what will be the next hurdle to bo overcome or the next tragedy to strike. The book is set in the New York of the middle and late 19th century and early 20th century and gives on a sense of the difficulties of life for the immigrant family and the struggles to succeed. A thoroughly enjoyable read. 2 s Marilyn Horowitz1 review3

Lost on Cherry Street is no ordinary book. It is an understated epic! The book retells in vivid prose the rise and fall of three generations of an Irish family, whose matriarch, Peggy O'Rouke, is a woman of indomitable courage, having survived the death of her entire family while traveling to America during the Potato Famine.

I literally could not put this book down! Mr. Donohue's descriptions of the horrors of that time will keep me up at night, and his insightful observations and rendering of his characters make them feel old friends. I laughed, cried, and had the perfect experience of being completely immersed in the world he created.

This is a great read. Don't deny yourself the pleasure of reading a book written by a master storyteller!2 s Kevin1 review1 follower

The kind of book I enjoy reading is the interest it generates in its characters. Lost on Cherry Street accomplishes this forcefully and gracefully. Each time a character is introduced, the author immediately fleshes the character out through an adroit use of description and dialogue. This is an amazing feat since the book explores three different generations. Donahue is true to the characters, putting words in their mouth that immediately bring those characters to full life. Another strength of the book is the sense of the times that it presents, weaving believable details into the heart of the story. Again, this is a masterful feat since the action covers such a broad swath of history.
The book dragged me in immediately and kept me interested throughout.2 s Deborah Cernuto1 review1 follower

My favorite genre is Historical Fiction. Donahue not only includes bits of immigration from Ireland to New York onboard a death ship, but also includes the history of the difficulties for the Irish to be respected and settle into their new home. The characters brought to life the streets of New York to the woodsy country of the back hills home of Carney Callaghan (my favorite character). The Callaghan family fought to survive through struggles of loss, addiction and downright abuse. Bravo Jack Donahue on this well written and descriptive novel.2 s Mark1 review2

Mr. Donahue has written a gripping historical novel of the experience of Irish immigrants to the United States. His realistic writing style extends to the good and the bad of the experiences of his characters. I was fascinated by the trials of the new immigrants and the variety of their responses to what they found in America. 2 s David Menendez1 review1 follower

Really enjoyed this book. Even though it was fictional, it had a lot of true facts to it. I had no idea how rough it was for the Irish on their initial voyages to America. This book really touched me at times. Had me crying at the end 2 s Sandra Piccolo1 review2

Lost on Cherry Street is a descriptive saga of three generations of Irish immigrants. It is a tale of their personal battles, love, faith, challenges and survival. Touched with Irish history, beautiful prose and vivid experiences it is a captivating well-told story.2 s Denise7

This book was a page turner but also thought provoking. It touches so many topics as immigration, poverty, addiction. Although it takes place at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th; the topics are relevant now in the 21st century.
Most of all it is a relatable story encompassing love, family, tragedy, oppression and greed.
I would love to read a sequel. Well done Mr. Donahue !!!2 s laurie1 review

Lost on Cherry Street is a wonderful novel based on true events and historical fiction of Irish immigrants hoping to make a better life in America. Jack Donahue’s debut novel is beautifully written and well researched. The character development and vivid descriptions reflect the author’s extraordinary talent as a writer and storyteller.

As the reader, you are taken on an incredible family journey of so many emotions including hope, love, loss, trauma, betrayal, and revenge.

Lost on Cherry Street is not only a page turner, but it will also leave an impression on you long after you close the last page.

A highly recommended book!
2 s William Hernandez1 review1 follower

Lost on Cherry Street, Jack Donohue’s new historical novel, embarks on a tour de force examination of three generations of an Irish family’s odyssey forging out a new life in America. The Callaghan’s trials and tribulations, make for a fascinating read and are in many ways representative of all immigrants to the U.S.A. It illustrates the universality of the dream of anyone coming to America regardless of race, color or creed having a chance to make there mark.

Jack Donohue’s narrative style and impeccable research shine through and make for a meaningful and yet sometimes poignant and tragic examination of one family’s struggle to “make it”. It truly embodies the resilience and determination to make it through tough times and yet prosper. Well done, and I look forward to reading the sequel.
2 s Theresa Bradshaw1 review

A fascinating story about The Callaghan”s, an Irish American family.
Jack Donahue”s writing really brings the characters and their experiences to life. I felt their emotions of hope, love, success, as well as despair, loss, and tragedy.
This beautifully written historical fiction, had me hooked from the first page. 2 s Laura1 review2

A beautifully rich and complex story about a multi generational Irish family. This beautifully written novel had me hooked from the beginning. I love historical fiction and this book did not disappoint. Filled with complex characters and poetry weaved throughout. I fully enjoyed Jack Donahue's debut novel.2 s Irving Douglas Estella1 review

Be prepared to enter into a number of disparate cultural experiences while, at the same time, riding an emotional roller coaster of hope and despair, of golden opportunities and shattered dreams across three generations of the Callaghan family. From young Steven Callaghan’s Irish wake given by family and friends upon his departure for America to Peggy O’Rourke’s harrowing eight week journey across the Atlantic, one feels the desperation that was Ireland during the Potato Famine in the 1850s. Each finds a foothold in New York that starts to look the American Dream. That dream, the legendary Midas touch, becomes a nightmare played out in brilliant twists and turns of the narrative that kept this reviewer eager to find out what happened next.

With lucid prose reflecting his accurate research into Ireland and old New York, Mr. Donahue takes the reader into the nitty-gritty of each event portrayed. From the heartfelt, sometimes maudlin description of Steven’s farewell wake, to a sportscaster’s ringside report of a boxing match, to a Native American prayer chant ritual, and to a you-were-there encounter of the human wreckage on the skid row that was The Bowery of 1930s, one feels that they really know the Callaghans and, with them, taste the exuberance and joys as well as the sadness and despair of their journey in a new land. Restraining the impulse to divulge any spoilers, let me simply say that Lost on Cherry Street takes you to places where neither you nor the Callaghans themselves ever dreamed. To use an old cliché, there is a light at the end of the tunnel or, should I say, on a mountainside in Upstate New York!2 s Gisela Borowsky1 review1 follower

WOW! This epic journey through history lets the reader experience with great detail the horror and challenges of the Irish immigrants who had to leave their homeland during the great famine.
The graphic narrative of the various characters which emerge are at times painful to read, their descend into literal hell almost too much to bear for the reader.
But, alas, then comes the beautiful ending of the saga where love, hope and redemption are described in most touching detail. It brought me to tears!
I could see this book made into a historical TV series.1 Raymond Williams1 review1 follower

Jack Donahue’s novel, Lost on Cherry Street, portrays the lives of three generations of the Callaghan family. This compelling story is a marvelous tapestry replete with historical and cultural details, Irish language, riffs of poetry and the struggles and development of characters that you will care about. The hardships of Ireland’s Great Famine and the ensuing mass emigration are rendered in graphic and painful detail. Yet, in the misery and hardship, love and other bonds are formed which plant the seeds that will sprout in their new country, America. Desperation propels these emigrants into an uncertain future, tears them apart from loved ones with the expectation that this will be their final farewells.

The feelings are described with acute sensitivity and detail along with haunting imagery. It is very interesting to see how fortunes unfold in their new country. How the characters strengths and weaknesses, along with the help, of and exploitation by fellow immigrants affect their relationships and circumstances. There are wonderful surprises in how previously puzzling situations are explained by putting the puzzle together before your` eyes as previously known characters have more of their relationship revealed. Another wonderful surprise consists of re-uniting two characters who were of profound importance to one another as youths so that they can enjoy a bond that was formed out of desperation.

There are glimpses into marriages that fail and succeed reflecting common dynamics as seen through an Irish lens. One common dynamic has to do with men rationalizing their behavior by proclaiming it was done to please the wife, but as it turns out the man never asked what his wife wanted. The conveyance of characters’ strengths, weaknesses and dreams is through graceful, yet pungent dialogue…there’s little beating around the bush.

One particular delight was a scene which, piece by piece, evoked an increasingly visceral reaction that misfortune was imminent. The images described seem innocent at first glance, but taken together they create a growing tension. The culmination of the tension is a pivotal accident which is crucial to the story.

Alcohol has its place in the story, and the author is finely tuned to the devastation and struggle that alcoholism brings. The author also depicts love that cannot be destroyed, that transcends behavior and is rooted in family, religion and a loving heart. The journey is beautifully portrayed.

There are a host of memorable characters. Some are written about at length, others make brief appearances at critical times and then there are those who appear or are alluded to at various times and then appear more wholly to fulfill a crucial role. In conclusion, Lost on Cherry Street gives insight into the reasons for migrating, the hardships endured by those who made the journey and how they were able to make their way in their new home. While portraying the difficulties encountered by the immigrants, there is an optimistic thread woven throughout the story consisting of human resilience and strong family, religious and community bonds. I heartily recommend this book.1 Robert M1 review1 follower

At its base level, Lost on Cherry Street is an immigrant's tale, and though the immigrant's tale is that of the Irish migration to America in the 1800's, the tale told is timeless. Names, faces and the origins may have changed, however the hardships, both those that are being escaped, and those waiting at the destination are very much the same. So as the reader is lead on a journey, one that opens their eyes to the plight of the Irish immigrant, it is difficult not to reflect on the immigrant situations of our own time. And in becoming aware of and recognizing all that was suffered then, one asks themselves, "why does such suffering still exist, so many years later, in our own day and age?"

In weaving his tale, Donahue proves himself not only to be of a creative mind, and an excellent builder of characters, but he also clearly exhibits that he has done extensive research in bringing to life the time and age of the Irish Migration. In escaping what could surely have been death in their home country, Peggy O'Rourke along with her Mother and Sister travel across the Atlantic with their fellow Irish, amidst conditions where they are treated no better than rats. They, along with countless others braved starvation, disease and death for the dream that the shores that would receive them might provide even the faintest hope for a better life.

Donahue's immigrant tale, as good as it is, is much more than just that, it is a story of the human spirit. It is the tale of the journey taken within. A reminder of all we can overcome, and all that which we can still succumb. Donahue's characters, all of us, are flawed. And it is in our flaws, where all of our beauty lies, as well as our tragedies. We see in his characters that the choices we make, in response not only to our own sins, but the sins of others, can dictate the course of our fates. For those who seem to face insurmountable odds, redemption and grace are found in the humble heart, service to others and the determination to keep moving forward. While for those who by all accounts have reached the mountain top, the want for more, regardless of the cost, coupled with a failure to learn for past wrongs, or a refusal to let go of wrongs done to us, prove to be our own undoing and downfall. It is not only others we must learn to forgive, but also ourselves.

In telling the multigenerational of the Callaghans, Donahue makes the reader feel as though they themselves are part of the family. We feel every success, and every stumble on a visceral level. Upon completion of the novel, I found myself compelled to start over again from page one. To soak in more time with all of the characters, to experience them again, and learn more from whatever I missed in the first reading. This will be a book that will both marinate and resonate in my mind and my heart for a long time to come. Bravo.3 s Nancy Reisman1 review2

One of the joys of reading is to come away with knowledge that helps us to grow in our awareness of others. Jack Donahue’s Lost on Cherry Street did that for me. Until now, I knew very little about the Irish immigrant’s experience after arriving in the United States except that the potato blight caused many to leave their homeland and the life they loved. Through the development of a variety of colorful characters, Donahue paints an image that became imprinted in my heart as well as my mind. In graphic detail, he tells of the hardships these characters had to endure just to get here; and for many, the journey ends due to the cruel treatment and lack of humanity on the ship, which cost many their lives. As the story unfolds, we follow those lucky enough to find their way, who are willing to do whatever necessary to become successful. For some, wanting to live the good life, becomes a conflict. This is where Donahue shines. Being a talented poet, he makes these characters come alive so much so that we feel anger and pain when we witness their raw brutality towards others in their pursuit of material wealth; we also feel frustration as we follow their journey and hope they will see their faults and redeem themselves. We become connected to one family whose members begin life on Cherry Street and become totally engrossed in the choices they make, taking them in such different directions. It pulled at my heartstrings in its reality, seeing how human frailty can cause so much destruction. We also witness the courage and determination of those characters who seem less ly to survive, find their own path to peace and contentment. This ability to show people as they really are, which is set in an historical backdrop, demonstrates detailed research of the time period along with expert storytelling, resulting in a beautifully crafted tale that gives the reader so much to think about after you put the book down. What more can we ask of a novel!

Nancy Reisman
2 s Eileen Heinzman1 review1 follower

Not just an Irish story but an American story. Lost on Cherry Street is a very human story. It is a story about leaving your homeland and everything and everyone that you love and risking everything to escape extreme hardship and starvation for the hope of a better life. Jack Donohue spins a tail that takes us through three generations of an Irish family. We experience their adversities, their moral conflicts, their joys and sorrows and the trials and tribulations that shape their lives.
This is not a book for “the faint of heart”. Some scenes are intense. It will keep you up at night. You will want to know what comes next for the Callahan family. Will they ever find their way or will they stay forever “lost” in their personal conflicts? Will they ever find peace and redemption for the choices they made in their lives?
This book leaves us with the question, what peace and fulfillment do we seek in our own lives? Do we want to know the truth or do we want to escape from it? Are we willing to accept grace and love from unexpected sources and can we ever return “home” again?
Lost on Cherry Street is a must read. I highly recommend it. It’s a book that inspires and incites the reader. It’s a book that opens up hidden questions in us all.irish-heritage irish-historical-fiction2 s Jim S1 review2

'Lost on Cherry Street' is a roller coaster ride following three generations of The Callaghan clan. From their beginnings in Ireland during 'the great hunger' and through their immigration to New York, you will be held captive as their lives play out. It is a dramatic historical fiction novel that will keep you in suspense from the start. You will be drawn into their world as the characters face the challenges of living in New York, from their love for family to the evils of dirty politics of the 19th century. And just when you think you know what will happen next, you will be surprised with the shocking turn of events. It both a beautiful and dark story.
Jack Donahue uses words as a portal into the Irish plights and traditions. I could hear the brogue, smell the smells and see the landscape of the times! You will not want to put it down until you have read the whole story. This is a must read!
My final thought is that 'Lost on Cherry Street' would make a compelling mini series! 2 s Matt Garvey1 review2

Lost on Cherry Street is a gripping account of three generations of a captivating Irish American family trying to make it in New York City and environs from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th. A rich collection of characters and plot twists keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, with character strengths and successes constantly battling with crippling weaknesses and tragedies. Pathos abounds, but never without some humor or hope. In short, the best historical fiction, Jack Donahue's novel captures the essence of the human condition through the specific actions and choices of characters thoroughly relatable and genuine to their time and circumstance--and in this case, the setting is the complex and paradoxical birth of modern America.1 Susan Abate1 review2

Lost on Cherry Street brought to life a place and a time that were very important in my life as I have family who came to North America during the famine. The. Tenement life of the time period came to life under Donahue's magical pen. My ancestors  might never have faced the exact life faced by the characters in the book, but they faced the same difficulties that the characters faced in the time period of the book. I had never really faced the facts of my family's life in those times, but this book forced me to face them. Thank you, Jack Donahue, for filling in blanks that are so important in my life.2 s Celiablumm3 1 follower

Lost on Cherry Street is a masterful, multilayered exploration of the Irish immigration experience at the turn of the 20th century. I’m hard pressed to decide which facet of the work is more admirable: the characters make their way into your heart subtly and surely! Yet Donahue is at his best as he immerses his reader in the lower Manhattan that so many of our forebears had to navigate as they struggled, the Callaghans, to recognize the elusive dream that is our country. Historical ‘fiction’ at its finest!2 s Irene Wong1 review2

A novel that held my interest from beginning to end. The saga follows members of the Callahan family and their lives in America. The writing is so descriptive and I could see each character as I read the story. I would recommend this to my book club for our next book to read.
The male characters seem to have a dark side. The female characters are so good that even the ladies that work in the brothels are kind. The priest through religion and the Native American characters bring light and hope to the story. A good read full of many interesting people and things to discuss.
2 s Mary Hall-Moran1 review1 follower

If you enjoy historical fiction, this book will resonate with you as it travels between generations of characters traveling between Ireland and New York. “Imagine kissing the ground, near tears and saying, “To me this is heaven, I smell freedom. I smell opportunity. I smell new life.” And so the adventure begins with some surprises along the way. The historical details made the words flow transporting the reader to the time period. The foreshadowing made some predictions seem easy yet surprises await. This book fostered empathy, joy and sadness as the tale unfolds. What a terrific read! 1 Bruce Franck1 review2

Written with the lush atmospherics of a screenplay, Lost on Cherry Street weaves a century- long tale of Irish American survival during a challenging era of New York City's history.
The triumphs and tragedies of the Callaghan clan are presented in an historical context that is riveting, while the turning of every page seems to be accompanied by the lilt or the weeping of a pennywhistle. It is a thought provoking work presented with both grit and compassion.2 s Pablo Rojo3

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