Title: Forgetting Tabitha
Author: Julie Dewey
Publish Date: August 1, 2013
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You are a historical fiction lover.
- You don't mind tough subjects.
From Goodreads.com: "Raised on a farm outside of West Chester County, Tabitha Salt, the daughter of Irish immigrants, leads a sheltered existence. When tragedy strikes the family, the ten year old and her mother are forced to move to the notorious Five Points District in New York City. Known for its brothels, gangs, gambling halls, corrupt politicians, and thieves, the Five Points is a chaotic slum. The women find work as laundresses, struggling every day to survive in their squalid living conditions.
When tragedy strikes again, Tabitha finds herself on the streets of New York City, alone. Summoning her courage and willing her legs that are numb with fear and grief to move, she takes to a life on the streets. Stealing food and running from the law, Tabitha dreams of the future.
During this time the Sisters of Charity were plucking orphans off the streets with promises of a new life. Children were told to forget their pasts, including their religious beliefs, families, and names. They were to become Christian and were given new identities, only then could they board the orphan trains. The orphan trains carried the destitute children out west in search of new homes. Siblings were often ripped apart and many didn’t find homes but became indentured workers in exchange for room and board."
My Two Cents:
"Forgetting Tabitha" is the story of Tabitha Salt, daughter of Irish immigrants, who loses her parents early in life. Having nowhere else to turn, she goes on one of the infamous orphan trains in order to try to find a better life. I really thought that this book was going to be more about the orphan train experience itself from the synopsis but this story is much more complicated than the synopsis. It's a story of family secrets and betrayals set against the backdrop of Upstate New York.
There have been several books about orphan trains that have come out recently and I am totally fascinated by them. It's hard to imagine children so young being put on a train. We get to see very different outcomes of what happens to these children. Some of them, like Tabitha, really become cherished members of a new family like Tabitha and Edmund. Others become almost servants like Scotty. It was interesting to see so many different angles.
Most of the story is told from Mary's perspective. It threw me off a little when the other characters in the book began narrating but eventually I grew to like this tactic as it gave me a more well-rounded view of the various characters in the book.
As the book goes on, the story gets a little bit darker although it remains serious the entire time and not light at all. I wondered a lot about some of the things that were unsaid in the book (who killed the farm animals???), which left me a little bit unsatisfied but overall the story was interesting.
Follow the Rest of the Tour:
Monday, October 7
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Tuesday, October 8
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages
Guest Post at Flashlight Commentary
Wednesday, October 9
Review at West Metro Mommy
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, October 10
Review at A Bookish Affair
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews
Review & Giveaway at The Eclectic Reader
Friday, October 11
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair