A Passionate Girl
By Thomas Fleming
(Forge Books, Hardcover, 9780765306449, 416pp.)
Publication Date: December 30, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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Beautiful, rebellious Bess Fitzmaurice is mesmerized by Dan McCaffrey, an American of Irish descent who has come to Ireland to aid the Fenian revolt against British tyranny. He appears in her home on May Eve 1865, fleeing British forces. To Bess, Dan is the mythical Donal Ogue, the hero of a famous Irish poem, returned to rescue Ireland---but right now, he is an American Civil War veteran on the run. Bess and her brother, Michael, get Dan to a ship, and they flee to America.
In 1865, America is a nation ravaged by four years of Civil War. Bess discovers that among the Irish-American Fenians money and power and patriotism are entangled in bewildering and demoralizing ways, while Dan McCaffrey surrenders to the corruption of New York City politics. The Fenians' invasion of Canada and their goal of holding the English colony hostage for a free Ireland become a pawn in a power struggle between Democrats and Republicans. When the American federal government double-crosses the Fenians, forcing thousands of Irish Civil War veterans to abandon the Canadian invasion after winning the first battle, acrimony engulfs the movement, leading to feuds, name-calling--and murder.
In despair, Bess quits the Fenians and finds love in the arms of former Union General Jonathan Stapleton. Their idyll, however, is soon interrupted by Dan McCaffrey, who forces her to choose between him and her new lover.
A Passionate Girl is a riveting novel that takes the reader into a forgotten chapter in Irish-American history and provides an eye-opening look at the devastating impact of America's Civil War.
Thomas Fleming is the author of more than 40 books of fiction and history. He was born in Jersey City, N.J., the son of a powerful local politician, who gave him a lifelong interest in politics and history. He is the only writer in the seventy year history of the Book of the Month Club to win main selections in both fiction and nonfiction. His 1981 novel, The Officers' Wives, won international acclaim, selling more than 2,000,000 copies. Liberty! The American Revolution was listed as one of the eight best books of 1997 by the History Book Club.
Fleming has made the Revolution his special field.
Three of his books have won best-book-of-the-year citations from the American Revolution Round Table of New York. He has also demonstrated a sweeping grasp of the entire course of American history in West Point: The Men and Times of the U.S. Military Academy, The New Dealers' War and other books. Fleming is a senior scholar on the board of the National Center for the American Revolution. He is also a fellow of the Society of American Historians. He often appears as a commentator on PBS, the History Channel and A&E. He lives in New York.