Growing up in the western suburbs of Chicago in the early 1950s, Sharon knew little about the history of her four Irish immigrant grandparents, except that they led terribly sad lives. She embarks on a remarkable journey to find her Irish roots. The first trip to Ireland is planned primarily as a family vacation, but she is soon drawn into the history that caused her grandparents, along with 2.5 million others, to emigrate from Ireland.
While the first part of the book focuses on discoveries in Ireland, the second part follows in the footsteps of the author's grandparents as they tearfully depart an Ireland plagued wtih famine and political upheaval. The traditional Irish farewell was celebrated and the young emigrants failed to exist to family and friends after they said their final farewells.
Settling in Omaha, Nebraska and Chicago, Illinois, the author's grandparents suffer hardships traumatic enough to cause anyone's family to go over the brink. The author describes in detail the stubborn pride and human failures that unravel their lives.
This report prepared by Sharon Shea Bossard