• Shae Bryant

A Sneak Peek at "Is She Home?"

"I don’t remember Ireland. Dad said it was a good thing I didn’t. I would have remembered my Mother dying and the horrible trip across the ocean. There’s one thing from that awful journey I remember. It’s like a picture in my mind that hangs in a gilded frame.

A baby screamed. The sound was dulled by the trunks piled up in the dark underbelly of the ship. A woman cried, telling the baby how sorry she was repeatedly. Someone hissed for her to quiet the babe, and another yelled. The argument started, and I was scared.

I covered my head with a blanket that smelled of sour milk and mud. It was thin and made my legs itch. Dad was next to me, pretending to sleep. When I snuggled against him, a strong and protective arm covered me. The argument went away, along with the tossing of the ship. I closed my eyes and fell back into a sleep, knowing nothing bad would reach me long as I was tucked in tight next to him.

I don’t remember coming to New York either. Dad said I cried the whole time, and the Doctor thought I was sick. I was probably afraid. There were a lot of things that scared me, the Howard’s grand house, Burt and his anger, having too many children, and losing too many children. I’m not afraid of these things anymore. While I sit here in this bed, writing to keep my mind off of the sickness that’s taking over my body, I think about my earliest memories."

That is the beginning of "Is She Home?", a novel about a young immigrant who finds herself in domestic service and faces her fears through letters and notes to her children. When her eldest daughter reads her Mother's memoirs, she resolves to bring her family back together.

"Is She Home?" is the second book in the Appalachian Roots series, and will release on August 31, 2021. You can pre-order it now on Amazon and get one of the first copies!