"Saga of an Irish couple building their life and family"

Set primarily in upper New York State in the year 1863, SARATOGA SUMMER tells the story of Sinead and Connor O'Malley. She is a feisty woman, born in Ireland, whose father, Bowes Brennan moved her to New York City after her mother was killed by a horse in an accident on the O'Malley horse farm. As a child, Sinead loved horses but the accident has left her fearful of the creatures. Connor, who was only ten at the time of the accident, barely remembers the beautiful little girl.

Twenty years later, Connor's dad tells him and his brothers that due to an old debt, one of the brothers must marry a widow with a child in America. Connor loses the lottery for this and he and his brother Egan set sail. There they meet the now grown Sinead, although the family of her adopted son insists on calling her Jane. Sinead and Connor don't get along at first, or for that matter, later. Their wedding night isn't spent in the same bed and it seems their marriage, which was intended to be at least consummated, might never even manage that. Being a horse lover, Connor doesn't understand why his new wife might have such a problem with the animals.

All of this is taking place when the Union army was conscripting the Irish workers for the Civil War. The draft was no more popular then as it was in the late nineteen- sixties, and the workers in New York responded with riots and by burning down the houses of the rich, including Sinead's New York relatives. She and her son, Robbie, flee the destruction with the help of her father and new husband, Connor. They make their way to Saratoga Springs where Bowes owns land and a house fashioned after the O'Malley home.

Once they are in upper New York things improve. There is a racetrack under construction and Connor quickly builds a true horse farm on the Brennan property. He dreams of returning to his family farm in Ireland, but is torn by loyalty to the wife and child he has acquired in America. Meanwhile, Sinead must overcome her fear of horses, her concerns about her husband, and get her son's true grandparents to give her custody. How all this is finally dealt with is the story of SARATOGA SUMMER.

Review for by Janet Miller

Reviewed by Janet Miller
Posted September 24, 2002


1863 Saratoga Summer
by Dorice Nelson

Novel Books, Inc.
August 1, 2002
Available: November 12, 2006
ISBN #1591050820
EAN #9781591050827
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