The Irish Dresser: A Story of Hope during The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mor, 1845-1850)

Cynthia G. Neale

  • The Irish Dresser: A Story of Hope during The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mor, 1845-1850)

“Nora is frightened and hungry. As hungry as a caterpillar devouring the leaves on a branch of a tree. Her hands shake while she picks some late berries from the wet fields and eats them. It had been early October when the potato fog came and destroyed their crops. Now it was late November and it had been raining every day since, a soft drizzle that made them all feel like creatures of the sea. Their skin was always moist, just like seals, just like fish.”

During the Irish Famine from 1845 to 1850 over a million people perished due to hunger and fever. Thousands of ships brought more than two million Irish people to North America in search of food. The Irish Dresser is the saga of the McCabe family who struggle to survive during this difficult time.

When thirteen-year-old Nora McCabe crawls into the old dresser that sits next to the hearth holding a few pieces of her mother’s china, she dreams of luscious cakes and fairies as hunger pains grip her. It is in the dresser that Nora finds hope when her father declares they must leave their beloved Ireland for America. Hidden in the dresser aboard the ship traveling to a new land, Nora lives an adventure that transforms her life and turns hope into a reality.

“Cynthia Neale has given us the neglected story of ‘the potato famine,’ an event that wrenched many an Irish immigrant from Erin’s beloved green shores. The tragedy of the Irish in 1850, seen here through the eyes of the wild and lively Nora, becomes an occasion for courage, enchantment, and an heroic voyage to America. Neale’s rich and vivid rendering does not spare us hardship and injustice. Yet she paints with a charmed brush the unique magic that kept the Irish spirit alive. Hungry Nora dreams of cake, and hides her pet, Miss Maggie Hen, in the family’s heirloom dresser to protect her. Her illogical impulse of love is later rewarded with her own release from the Great Hunger--but not easily. Neale never settles for easy. Young adult readers will be spellbound by this tale, at once real and miraculous.”

Rickey Gard Diamond, author of Second Sight

“The Irish Dresser is an exciting, entertaining, and highly recommended story of taking risks and facing new challenges for the sake of hope.”

Midwest Book Review

Educational Resources Included Educational Resources Included
This title contains material for teachers and the classroom.

Book
Author Cynthia G. Neale
Pages 156
Images 0
Maps 0
Educational Resources Yes
Bibliography No
Index No

Educational Resources IncludedEducational Resources Included
This title contains material for teachers and the classroom.

  • $7.95


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Tags: 9781572493445, Cynthia G. Neale