Jennifer Armstrong’s two masterful novels about Mary Mehan are now together in one volume. Set against the pivotal events of the American Civil War, The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan depicts an Irish immigrant girl and her family, struggling to find their place in a country at war with itself. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews said, “Armstrong mixes vision and reality with breathtaking virtuosity, salting Mairhe’s narrative with poetic turns of phrase, snatches of song, story, and history.”
Mary Mehan Awake takes up Mary’s story after the war when, much like the broken country, Mary must begin a journey of emotional and physical renewal. Of this book, The Horn Book Magazine said, “The story unfolds effortlessly and richly. It’s The Secret Garden for an older audience, with friendship and nature gratifyingly providing healing and wholeness.”
This new Readers’ Circle edition includes an interview with the author discussing her ideas about how history is remembered and recorded, and the obligations and opportunities of the historical novelist.