Beautifully written, extraordinarily powerful, One Two wins the 2017
Millennium Book Award
Follow the journey of Norah McCabe, a courageous young woman fleeing her Irish home devastated by famine and arriving in the rough and tumble world of New York City of the 1850s. For the new immigrant every aspect of life is a challenge, negotiating a rapacious underworld, racism, poverty, and the struggle to find meaningful work. But there are riches and opportunities here as well, and Norah is determined to thrive in her new country through grit, her skills as a dress maker, and her unshakable dream of a better life.
Disarmingly authentic historical drama unfolds in Norah, the new novel from author Cynthia G. Neale. A simply stunning rendering of life and times in New York through the tumultuous 1850’s as Neale strikes an impeccable balance between lavish detail and commanding narrative that readily captivates the imagination. It’s not a dainty telling, for hardship prevails throughout, the bitter undertones of poverty, villainy and racial tension ever pervasive, but this is life as it was and Neale captures it with unbridled passion. An acerbic mind behind the pen that ably translates historical fact into a fiction that manifests a palpable sense of time and place. Never so much as to be overwhelming, but masterfully woven through the fabric of her tale as the trials and tribulations of young Norah McCabe come to the fore.
It makes for the most compelling reading, but is elevated to a class of its own through Neale’s proclivity for dialogue that is both haunting and revealing. That encourages reflection and begs the question, how much have the years really changed us? For whilst Norah’s tale is constrained to a tightly defined period, it is a tale that permeates the annals of time as predacious bigotries prevail.
Commendable and compelling, Norah is historical fiction at it’s best. A telling to be applauded, by an author who deserves a place upon your bookshelf. It is recommended without reservation!
Author Cynthia G. Neale - In The Spotlight
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