Kit Byrne's family is a strong one, but their strength and unity are being severely tested, as life becomes more and more desperate in 19th century rural Ireland. Lord Fraser is the wealthy landowner, from which the Byrne's and many other families rent their lands. When the potato blight hits, the farmers can no longer make their payments much less produce food for themselves, and the cruel system has no mercy as Lord Fraser wields an iron fist, driving families from their homes and burning their cottages.
Kit's dreams are now dashed as her family experiences a series of tragedies, and as she undergoes a daunting event that tears her away from her family. With her father dead, she must fight for survival and help her ailing mother and siblings escape Ireland for good.
This story is a glimpse into the tragic events of the Great Hunger, the famine that devastated Ireland, forcing thousands of impoverished families to seek better livelihoods outside of their homeland.
"Pignat's writing is strong and detailed, bringing to life historical events in a personal and tangible way. . . For its good writing, its keen perception of human emotions and its incredibly accurate portrayal of An Gorta Mor (the Great Hunger), this is definitely an addition to any 'must read' list of young adult novels.
"This well-researched book brings to life the Irish famine of mid-nineteenth century. . . Historical fiction fans will enjoy this book, and teachers and librarians may find its ethical dilemmas highly teachable literature."