If you live in the United States, unless you are a Native American, at some point in your family story, your more recent or remote ancestor came here from a different country, by their own choice or by someone else’s.
What was that like for them–your own parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or as far back as this happened in your family? Did they feel welcomed in their new nation? What obstacles did they have to overcome?
I find these questions fascinating. We may feel strongly that the United States is “our” country, not “theirs.” By what process did we come to feel that way?
I invite your interaction with these questions. Are they still pertinent? Absolutely!
Cally and her brother Teddy immigrated by decision of their father, and stayed by their own choice. That is, Cally chose to stay, and six-year-old Teddy didn’t feel like he had much choice. When she made that decision, she had no idea that the mostly poverty-stricken, desperate Irish immigrants were looked down on in the U.S. as they were by the British.
Cally will confront the reasons for her choice more directly in Book Three, Facing the Faeries. In Book Two, as a young adult, her challenge is to figure out who she wants to be, apart from serving the people she’s come to love in her new world. Does she truly have a place and a voice and a calling on her life in the country she’s chosen?
At several points along the way, Quaker families in the U.S. reach out to help her. I didn’t foresee this; it happened as I listened to my characters tell their stories. After completing the manuscript, I researched the Society of Friends in both Ireland and the United States, to understand better why they would play such important roles in the lives of two Catholic Irish orphans. What I learned warmed my heart and surprised me by turns. I’ll probably add to this topic as I learn more about Quaker history, but I hope what I’ve noted so far will intrigue you as it has me. If so, you have Cally and Teddy to thank–they’re the ones touched and aided by Quaker families, both Malcomsons and others.
Please let me know if you have specific questions I can respond to. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll try to find out! If you’re Quaker yourself, or know more than I do, I would love your input!
Peace to you,