A review of Shanty Gold by Jeanne Charters! What an endorsement!
I am the coordinator of Irish Cultural/Educational programs at an Irish Center in The Capitol of New York State. I had a special interest in reading Shanty Gold since the author Jeanne Charters is presenting her book at our September 23rd 2015 meeting. I was not disappointed since the book is a great story about the experiences of many of our Irish relatives who came to the United States at the height of the Irish Famine 1845 to 1855, the coffin ships many found transport in, the rape and slaughter they faced, and finally the perseverance needed to survive in Boston Massachusetts where no Irish need to apply for jobs. The central characters Mary Boland and Kamua Okafor, a black boy, had similar horrendous experiences from a society with rampant prejudices. The book achieved its purpose better in many ways of getting you in touch with the Irish experience compared to a lecture covering the same topics. I look forward to the two books which are to follow completing this trilogy of Irish immigrant pain, strength and success. Books like this prove that historic fiction can be one of the many avenues to enjoy the culture and history of people.
- John W. Carswell
So much is to be learned from Shanty Gold by Jeanne Charters: racism, human trafficking, starvation, discrimination, rape, murder, bullying, gangs of Boston and most importantly survival. Mary Boland is one tough cookie. Compared to the kids today she is Wonder Woman at thirteen. Geez! She had to flee a famine, was raped by the crew of a coffin ship, impersonated a banshee (with the help of Kam), which made a few of the bad guys jump into shark-infested waters, and then had to tackle a whole new world, one she never thought so big. At thirteen! This was a fantastic book. Highly recommended!
- CJ Loiacono
“We sail with Mary Boland from Ireland and are immediately caught up in the challenges this young immigrant faces.
Charters captures the wistfulness of leaving home, the desperation of surviving a brutal voyage, and the ultimate triumph of a girl who won’t give up.
The story is taut, the characters compelling, and it left me with a new appreciation for the grit of the people who came before us to America. I highly recommend it.”
- Sallie Bissell, author of the Mary Crow Mystery Series
Don’t miss this book. Shanty Gold is the story of Mary Boland, a young Irish girl orphaned in the potato famine, who is forced to make her way alone to America and a new life. The story is full of adventure and unforgettable characters, and Mary’s courage and spirit will, no doubt, inspire many a young woman. Shanty Gold is the kind of well-researched historical fiction that makes one feel that he or she has time-traveled to the bowels of the coffin ships and the cobbled streets of 19th century Boston. I highly recommend it. Five Stars.
- Beth Robrecht
SHANTY GOLD 5 stars *****
By Susan Blexrud, best-selling romance author
“To read Shanty Gold is to immerse oneself in a wild ride of discovery, romance, and the search for a new way of life. But at its heart, it is a story of character.
As readers, we become Mary Boland, the inexperienced thirteen-year-old girl who trusts too easily and boards a ship for Boston, leaving behind her beloved Ireland.
With the death of her mother and the disappearance of her beloved “da,” it is her only choice for survival. Mary soon finds herself evading evil at every turn.
She befriends Kamua, an African slave boy on the ship, and the two youngsters cleverly figure out how to survive and, eventually, thrive.
Shanty Gold is a tale that will grab your heart and senses, with twists at every juncture, as Mary and Kamua grow up together and find their true passions.
By John C.
The story is so well-written I found myself unable to put it down. I just had to know what would happen to the characters. How would they survive in such a harsh world at such young ages? The story is a happy one, but it isn’t sappy or contrived. The story feels very realistic and it is clear the author did a lot of research.
The book is not a romance but is a historical novel, though there are romantic elements. The book is appropriate for teen readers.
Shanty Gold is the first part of a planned trilogy, and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the books.