American Anthem

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One of the many things my parents have given me was my love of reading. Some of my strongest memories from my childhood are my parents reading to me. One time I was sick, and my parents took turns reading to me my first Nancy Drew mystery. And my Dad reading to me a book he bought when he was in the 3rd grade.

That book, The Mystery of the Haunted Mine, has seen better days, but he read it to both my older brothers and me when we were kids. And it is something I treasure.

Today my Mom and I swap favorite books. When she or I find a good read, one of us has to read it next!

This is one of those books.

Author: BJ Hoff

Genre: Historical Fiction

Time Era: 1875 New York

This book is the biggest book I’ve read, 549 pages. But it is one of the best historical books I’ve read.

It is a historical saga that covers many different characters each in the different classes of the 1870s.

From the richest to the poorest.

It is actually three books gathered together in one. A beautifully written work that touches the emotions of the reader as you make your way through the trials and delights of the characters who live at Bantry Hill and nearby New York.

Suzanna Fallon comes to America from Ireland to work as a governess for Michael Emmanuel’s little girl.

Michael Emmanuel is a blind musician and Suzanna’s former brother-in-law; he was married to Suzanna’s sister, but now he is widowed.

Suzanna had never met this man but had already formed an opinion of him from what her sister had told her about him, and what a miserable man he is. She thinks Michael destroyed her sister’s life. But soon Suzanna will discover way more than she could have imagined.

Then there is the McGovern family who comes from Ireland to America. They have endured so much heartache and misery and hope that a new life in America will help heal their family.

Andrew Carmichael is a Scot physician, a Godly man, with secrets that he guards nearly with his life and who thinks he has seen it all, until he meets Bethany Cole, a woman doctor. Which is simply unheard of!

There is also Renny MaGee. An orphan from the streets of Dublin who has never known any other life than to beg, steal, or perform for a few coins, but her life was changed when her path crossed the McGovern family.

And in between the fictional characters, some real characters are mixed in, including Fanny J. Crosby and D.L. Moody.

There were so many characters to love in this book and yet it is easy to follow each one. It was not confusing as some books are at the beginning. There is a cast of characters listed at the beginning of the book. Something that I wish a lot of books had. It was so interesting to see how the lives of all these people intertwined.

America was built on the dreams of immigrants who came to this land for a better life.

My ancestors came from Ireland, so this book not only gives a raw, and unfiltered look into how life was for both the privileged and immigrants in the 1870s. But also, a look into the history of immigration.

This is a book not to be missed, certain to be read again and again.

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