By Pluck and By Faith
The Odyssey of an Irish-American Family
John James Brett and Mary Walsh found the prospect of beginning their married lives together in 1880’s Ireland daunting. A future of almost certain poverty, or at the very least, extreme difficulty and depravation, would be facing them, and the potential for improvement of social and political conditions seemed remote. To raise children under existing circumstances would be fraught with challenge and danger. While not as high as during The Great Famine, or the lesser famine of 1879 and 1880, infant and child mortality rates were still extremely high, with severe food shortages, poor sanitation and hygiene, and of course poverty, being the primary contributing factors. And, should they be blessed and fortunate enough to be able to successfully raise their children to adulthood, the prospects for their future to be bright and prosperous would be negligible. Rather than accept the inherited circumstances, John embraced the concept of emigrating to the “promised land” of America. While cautious and reluctant at first, Mary soon captured the vision and became a strong supporter and advocate, regardless of the danger and profound uncertainty involved.
‘By Pluck and by Faith’ is the saga of John and Mary Brett, their children, and the generations that proceeded. As the seven children grow and mature, we trace their lives, and ultimately the lives of their children’s children. These chronicles examine three generations of tragedies and triumphs, occasions of resounding success and of abject failure; hedonistic excess, sinfulness and even lawlessness, in juxtaposition to piety, discipline, virtue and prudence. The book will also hypothesize, projecting the impact that the nebulous and ill-defined concept of “fate” will have had on each of their lives.
Format: 6 x 9 Black & White Dust-Jacketed Hardback, 395 pages
Publisher: Outskirts Press (Jun 29, 2018)
Genre: FICTION / Biographical