Book - 2009
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In 1831, eighteen-year-old Oonagh Corcoran emigrates with her sister from southern Ireland to Upper Canada. In the deep folds of cool, green forest off the vast inland sea of Lake Ontario, she believes she has found paradise -- only to discover that the New World harbours its own horrible injustices when she meets a fugitive slave from Virginia named Chauncey Taylor. Love grows between them as Chauncey slowly reveals his terrible past to Oonagh, reliving the pain and tragedy he and his family suffered as slaves. The two find that even in their small, accepting community, there are certain lines that can never be crossed.

Based on historical research, Oonagh is both a powerful love story and a gripping tale that reaches deep into the secret heart of our nation's past.

Publisher: Toronto : Cormorant Books, 2009.
ISBN: 9781897151181
Branch Call Number: FICTION TIL


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Cdnbookworm May 18, 2011

This wonderful novel of historical fiction tells the story of a young Irish woman, Oonagh Corcoran. Oonagh leaves Ireland in 1831 with her sister Mairi and her new brother-in-law Josie to come to Upper Canada. Her older brother Michael and his family are already there, and have sent the fare to bring her over. Oonagh is a woman with a strong sense of self and an independent streak. She believes in fairness and justice and will stand up for others.
In Canada, Oonagh begins a friendship with Chauncey Talor, a self-made barber who escaped from slavery in the American South. Oonagh is introduced to Chauncey by her young nephew Daniel, and as the two adults share their stories, a bond grows between them.
Their private friendship grows into a public marriage and this story illuminates the prejudices and social constraints of the times.
Tilberg based the novel on a true story of a marriage between an Irish girl and an escaped slave and has done much historical research to ensure the story is true to the times.

May 13, 2009

I liked this book, her first. Couldn't put it down. Historical fiction, Beautifully written.

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