A country with a heart and soul cramp — The War Between the States led to serious pain from one end of the country to the other. Yet, interconnection and helpful Christian neighboring and compassion were a present unguent to begin and continue healing.
In Bachelor’s Buttons, Kathleen L. Maher uses historical documents and her personal family history to weave a romantic adventure that covers but a few hours in the heart of New York City during the Civil War. At time when fear stalked the ‘little’ people who were pawns for politicians, regardless of race. The dreaded draft of emigrants from Ireland and the fear of losing subsistence jobs — they had starved once and were loathe to do it again — and the fear of the unknown dark people fleeing slavery toward a free life were heavy and confusing burdens to bear.
Unacceptable, but understandable, violence and rioting, born of this spirit of fear, tore through the inner streets at the same moment that Rose Meehan needs the assistance of both of her presumed suitors, their skills and their connections to bring rescue for first her toddler brother, then for Rose herself. Rose is faced with the crises of family along with knowing that she will choosing between the poor, working violinist and the established doctor for her future.
Ms. Maher writes quickly (this 3rd volume in Murray Pura’s Cry of Freedom is not very long.), but with riveting description and feeling. We join Rose, William Lee and Dr. Ian Guinness as they risk life and limb to be out during the riots surrounding the outrage about the draft and the influx of a different race. Readers will be drawn in; right there with them as people from both races, Irish** and Black stepped forward to help and protect neighbors from the mindless mob.
Which will bachelor Rose choose? And award him a bright flower from her garden? Give yourself a rich reading treat — add this volume and the others to your collection so you can find out.
**Even in the 20th century, one of my great-great-grandmothers had ‘Irish’ listed as her race on her death certificate — a certificate attested to by my grandfather’s signature.