Over the Water

by Maude Casey

"We live in England, but. We live in England but all year long we are preparing for... read more

"We live in England, but. We live in England but all year long we are preparing for the journey home." Mary has lived in England for all of her life, but it is Ireland that is still considered "home" to her family, especially her mother, who "is so afraid of scornful glances at her Irish voice (in England) that she opens her mouth to no one." In Ireland with her family during the summer of her 14th year, Mary is at a loss for what it means to be "home" - to be grounded in a sense of self and connected to a place. Her relationship with her mother creates even greater isolation, for it seems she is judged harshly by her mother on everything she says and does. But with the help of her mother's youngest sister, Aunt Nuala, Mary slowly begins to understand and accept the beauty, the sadness and the strength of her Irish identity - an identity she carries with her wherever she goes. Casey's exquisitely written, powerfully moving narrative depicts a young woman's seeringly painful and joyous journey of discovery and self-acceptance. (Age 14 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1994

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