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May the Road Rise Up to Meet You    by Peter Troy Amazon.com order for
May the Road Rise Up to Meet You
by Peter Troy
Order:  USA  Can
Anchor, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

Four unique and very interesting individuals are intertwined in this beautifully written story, set in the time of the American Civil War.

Young Ethan has escaped the Hunger in Ireland and finds that the horrific experiences he lived through give him unusual perspective into others' desperation, especially on the battlefield. Marcella, separated from her beloved Abuela, is sent from Spain to the high life in New York, where she chafes at her family's expectations. Mary, even though enslaved, shows a powerful ability to save herself by adapting positively to her surroundings. And last but by no means least, Micah, sold into servitude, understands in his inmost being that he is born to be free and is determined to make that a reality.

Though great themes roam through this novel the Irish famine, immigration, slavery and its abolition, and war - the human element is what really interests us. With a great ear for language, especially the Irish of Ethan and his companions, Peter Troy gives us these peoples' stories. We follow their hopes and fears, meetings and separations. We see their unusual ability to assert themselves at just the right moment, even when their situation really does not allow for that.

Troy is in command of the strings he pulls, and it is a truly enjoyable adventure to follow the threads. The title, the first part of an old Irish blessing, beautifully expresses the wishes we have for these characters as they struggle towards their destinies.

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