Amazon Author Page: Andrew Joyce
Genres: Historical Biographical Fiction, U.S. Historical Fiction, Historical Irish Fiction
In the second year of an Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.Amazon.com
As of fan of Joyce’s western themed novels, I couldn’t wait to read this book! “Mahoney,” chronicles the lives of three generations of men detailing the trials and tribulations of their father-son relationships bound together by a proud Irish heritage.
Part one delves into Devin Mahoney’s story. The reader learns how he immigrated from Ireland to the United States to escape the potato famine. From the perils of the ship crossing to his escape off the death ship, Devin finds America full of discrimination against his Irish heritage. Times are tough, but Devin has the drive of ten men. He vows to become a success in this new land.
Andrew Joyce depicts the details of Devin’s journey with precision and skill, leaving nothing to the imagination. Be prepared for your senses to explode from the detailed descriptions. I found many of these chapters emotionally charged and filled with some of Joyce’s best writing to date.
I must add that the use of Epistolary communication in this section is one of my favorite literary forms. Joyce spares no emotions in his raw depictions of the Civil War.
Part two shares the life of Dillon, Devon’s son who sets out on a journey to the American West. What he finds is every young man’s dream. He joins a cattle drive as a cook and learns how to become a cowboy. Eventually, he takes on the title of U.S. Marshall – even hunting down a few criminals. In California, Dillon strikes it big in the oil business.
In part three, we meet David Mahoney, a spoiled, self-centered young man, the product of his father’s and grandfather’s successes. David’s story holds the most hope as the reader witnesses his collapse into poverty. In many ways, David ends up where his grandfather began. David is forced to grapple with the realities of life in the 1920s. From the soup lines of the Great Depression to the racial strife of the deep South, David finds himself and the soul of the Mahoney clan.
Joyce produces strong characters with dialog that plunks the reader in the middle of the action. Also, look for the many historical references liberally sprinkled throughout this novel. As a nation built from the blood, sweat, and tears of immigrants, this book should remind us all of who we are as Americans.
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.
Facebook: Andrew Joyce (Yellowhair1850)
Connect with Andrew on his author blog at andrewjoyce.wordpress.com
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