“The Dolan Girls” by S.R, Mallery is an instantly captivating historical novel set in the 1800s. It follows the life of Irish immigrants in Nebraska. A well written and clever narrative shows us the Dolan women’s trials and tribulations: as women, as Irish and family members.
This is heart warming and tragic at times, but “Hope springs eternally” and there is an optimistic and positive touch through all the tragedy.
As European reader interested in historical fiction I was particularly pleased withy how much I learned from the book. Hugely enjoyable.
Blurb: The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Add to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. Two, in fact!
From another reviewer:
What a marvellous story. It starts in 1861 with a short segment about the Dolan girls and some boys before stepping back in time to Nebraska in 1856. The Dolan family has come from potato famine Ireland and soon find that the new world is not all what it had seemed. Signs are up “No Irish need apply” and so we follow this very special immigration experience, the sacrifices, the trials and circumstances.
As the various sub plots show individual problems and hardships, the overall tone of the story is one of resilience, hope and trust.
A well researched book of historical value for this reader, entertaining and very warmly written.
Here are some links to a previous feature on S.R. Mallery
S.R. Mallery has been labeled nothing short of ‘eclectic’. She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher.
As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day, or listen to music, Sarah’s imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.
What readers are saying about S. R. Mallery’s books:
“A master storyteller has been at work, and this marvelous piece of writing is the result.” ~ Thomas Baker Thomas on Unexpected Gifts.
“Honestly, I haven’t read a book this unique in quite some time.” ~ John H. Byk on Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads
“Mallery is an extremely talented writer. Her style lures the reader; you actually become a part of her tapestry of expression.” ~ Melinda Hines on Tales to Count On.
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