The Walking People (Hardcover)

By Mary Beth Keane

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547126524, 416pp.

Publication Date: May 1, 2009

June 2009 Indie Next List

“As a child in her beloved Ireland, Greta Cahill is so awkward she's called 'Goose.' In her new home of America, she blossoms into a young woman of self-worth, finding love and family. While she longs to return to Ireland, a secret from her former life prevents the trip back, until her children decide to reunite her two lives, much to Greta's fear. Mary Beth Keane has given us an impressive debut novel.”
— Kathleen Creamer, Maine Coast Book Shop, Inc., Damariscotta, ME
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Greta Cahill never believed she would leave her village in the west of Ireland until she found herself on a ship bound for New York, along with her sister Johanna and a boy named Michael Ward. Labeled a "softheaded goose" by her family, Greta discovers that in America she can fall in love, raise her own family, and earn a living. Though she longs to return and show her family what she has made of herself, her decision to spare her children knowledge of a secret in her past forces her to keep her life in New York separate from the life she once loved in Ireland, and tears her apart from the people she is closest to. Even fifty years later, when the Ireland of her memory bears little resemblance to that of present day, she fears that it is still possible to lose all when she discovers that her children--with the best of intentions-- have conspired to unite the worlds she's so carefully kept separate for decades. A beautifully old-fashioned novel, The Walking People is a debut of remarkable range and power.

About the Author

The Walking People is her first novel.