Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Civil War, May the Road Rise Up to Meet You is a story of four unforgettable characters who, together, illuminate the quintessential American experience.
Ethan McOwen survived the worst of the Irish Famine and made the treacherous crossing to America, but his endurance is tested by the rough neighborhoods of New York until he discovers a passion for photography; Marcella Arroyo arrives from Spain a high-spirited society girl but defies her father to become a devoted abolitionist; and slaves Mary and Micah plot a clandestine escape on a cold Christmas Eve in the hopes of finding a better future. When war brings them all together, it will dramatically change the course of their individual lives.
About May the Road Rise Up to Meet You
An engrossing, epic American drama told from four distinct perspectives, spanning the first major wave of Irish immigration to New York through the end of the Civil War.
Four unique voices; two parallel love stories; one sweeping novel rich in the history of nineteenth-century America. This remarkable debut draws from the great themes of literature—famine, war, love, and family—as it introduces four unforgettable characters. Ethan McOwen is an Irish immigrant whose endurance is tested in Brooklyn and the Five Points at the height of its urban destitution; he is among the first to join the famed Irish Brigade and becomes a celebrated war photographer. Marcella, a society girl from Spain, defies her father to become a passionate abolitionist. Mary and Micah are slaves of varying circumstances, who form an instant connection and embark on a tumultuous path to freedom.
All four lives unfold in two beautiful love stories, which eventually collide. Written in gorgeous language that subtly captures the diverse backgrounds of the characters, and interspersed with letters, journals, and dreams, this unforgettable story, rendered in cinematic detail, is about having faith in life’s great meaning amidst its various tangles.
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“Beautifully told, Troy has given us a story that will be with me for many years to come.” —Robert Hicks, author of The Widow of the South
“A wonderful family saga of poignant history, thrilling action, and romance.” —Edward Rutherfurd, author of The Rebels of Ireland
“Finding ambition in a first novel is not a rare thing, but to find it fulfilled as thoroughly as it is in May the Road Rise Up to Meet You is indeed something special.” —The Free Lance-Star “To read this book is an enriching, unforgettable experience. It is told in utterly true and authentic voices that reach the soul and linger in the heart.” —Leila Meacham, author of Roses
“May the Road Rise up to Meet You is a rich look at the boiling melting pot that was Civil War-era New York.” —Newark Star-Ledger
“A classic tale that feels equally Irish and American.” —BookPage
“May the Road Rise Up to Meet You is a generous and sweeping Civil War saga about Southern slaves and newly arrived immigrants linked by a shared desire for abolition and freedom. Ranging from the clawing hunger of the Irish Famine to the abusive captivity of South Carolina, from rough-and-tumble Five Points to the genteel streets of Richmond, Virginia, this affecting and moving tale links disparate lives of impressive integrity, suffering and triumph, and yields a deeply personal portrait of the immigrants who fought the war and the people they fought it for. A hopeful, magnanimous depiction of America at its most vulnerable.” —Robin Oliveira, author of My Name is Mary Sutter, winner of the Shaara Prize for Excellence in Civil War Fiction
“The depth of Troy’s characters offers compelling insights into the Civil War era.” —Publishers Weekly
“Troy has written a heartfelt and moving saga of America’s most fateful hour.” —California Literary Review