Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway: The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G Neale

The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale

Publication Date: June 2, 2017
Fireship Press
eBook; 276 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Romance
It is New York City and the Civil War is brewing. Norah McCabe, an Irish immigrant who escaped the Famine as a child, is now a young widow with a daughter. She is a milliner, struggling to survive in tumultuous times. Norah meets Abraham Lincoln, befriends the extraordinary African-American woman Elizabeth Jennings, and assists the Underground Railroad. She falls headlong in love with Edward M. Knox, son of the famous hat-maker Charles Knox, but he is lace curtain Irish and she is shanty Irish. Edward joins the 69th regiment and leaves for battle. Can their love endure through class differences and war?
This is a story of survival, intrigue, romance, as well as, exploring the conflict of Irish immigrants thrust into a war that threatened to destroy a nation. It is about an Irish-American woman who could be any immigrant today, any woman today, seeking to create beauty and make sense of her life.
Suddenly the Civil War seems very relevant and Cynthia Neale does a great job of focusing on the role of the Irish in the conflict. And it's great fun to be in touch with her wonderful character, Norah McCabe, again!” ~Mary Pat Kelly, author of Galway Bay and Of Irish Blood
This timely novel spans centuries to bring to our attention to a topic as old as yesterday, as expedient as tomorrow⎯emigration. Neale's work, written with love and insight, reminds us that our neighbor is all mankind.” ~Tim Pat Coogan, Irish broadcaster, journalist, writer and author of 1916 The Easter Rising, Michael Collins and The Famine Plot

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Norah is silent and fearful of taking such a powerful charm from this woman. She has never intended to become this entwined with the Negro just because she is friends with Elizabeth Jennings. She wants to leave. She can't get enough air in her lungs and her heart is pacing in her chest like a frightened animal. She doesn't know how to tell Sarah she can't accept this lucky box. Sarah needs it more than she does and Norah doesn't believe in any luck that can double. The woman's own beaten husband made it for her. Why would she give it to her, she wonders. She wants to get back to Katie and Sean and go home for a strong cup of tea.
"Where are the hats that Norah made?" Elizabeth asks, interrupting the interchange between Sarah and Norah.
Sarah rushes to the corner of the room and pulls the bonnets out of a burlap bag. When the women put them on their heads, Norah sees them transformed into free, dignified women in the candlelight. They smile at her and then she carefully places the four-leaf clover charm inside her bodice and near her heart.

About the Author

Cynthia G. Neale is a native of the Finger Lakes region of New York and now resides in New Hampshire. She has long possessed a deep interest in the tragedies and triumphs of the Irish during the Great Hunger.
This is Ms. Neale’s fourth novel. She also writes plays, short stories, and essays, and holds a B.A. in Writing and Literature from Vermont College.
For more information, please visit Cynthia G. Neale's website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Friday, June 2
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads
Saturday, June 3
Spotlight at What Is That Book About
Sunday, June 4
Excerpt at Passages to the Past
Monday, June 5
Interview at Books & Benches
Tuesday, June 6
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books
Excerpt at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, June 7
Review at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots
Thursday, June 8
Review at Rainy Day Reviews
Review at Just One More Chapter


To win an eBook of The Irish Milliner by Cynthia G. Neale, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two eBooks are up for grabs!
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on June 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


The Irish Milliner has a different writing style than I am used to. It was hard to get into at first but I started enjoying it about third of the way through. I like to see how pre-Civil War Irish immigrants lived during that time. Then the Civil War begins and widowed Nora had to struggle to find a place for herself. I found it fun to see how she interacted with Abraham Lincoln and Elizabeth Jennings, which begins her courage to help with the Underground Railroad. She, also, finds herself in a struggle and dealing with those of her past and those of her present. The turmoil seems real and was I was interested in what would happen next. 
I thought the story was pretty good after I got through the first third of the book. I would give it 3 1/2 stars.

I received this book from the author, but was not required to write a review. This review is 100% my own honest opinion

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