The Bereaved - by Julia Park Tracey (Paperback)

The Bereaved - by  Julia Park Tracey (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
The Bereaved - by  Julia Park Tracey (Paperback) - image 1 of 1
$17.99When purchased online

About this item


Dimensions (Overall): 8.38 Inches (H) x 5.38 Inches (W)
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 274
Genre: Fiction + Literature Genres
Sub-Genre: Historical
Publisher: Sibylline Press
Format: Paperback
Author: Julia Park Tracey
Language: English
Street Date: August 8, 2023
TCIN: 88864201
UPC: 9781736795422
Item Number (DPCI): 247-52-9724
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported


Book Synopsis

Based on the author's research into her grandfather's past as an adopted child, and the surprising discovery of his family of origin and how he came to be adopted, Julia Park Tracey has created a mesmerizing work of historical fiction illuminating the darkest side of the Orphan Train.

In 1859, women have few rights, even to their own children. When her husband dies and her children become wards of a predator, Martha--bereaved and scared--flees their beloved country home taking the children with her to squalor of New York City. She manages to find them shelter in a tenement packed with other down-on-their-luck families and then endeavors to find work as a seamstress.

But as a naive woman alone, preyed on by male employers, she soon finds herself nearly destitute. Her children are hungry with no coal for their fire. Illness lays them low and Martha begins to lose hope.

The Home for the Friendless, an aid society, offers free food, clothing, and schooling to New York's street kids. When a cutpurse takes the last of their money, Martha reluctantly places her two boys in the Home, keeping daughter Sarah to help with the baby. Martha takes roommates into her one room, rotating her and Sarah's bed in shifts with other struggling women.

Finally, faced with prostitution and homelessness herself, Martha takes Sarah and baby Homer to the Home for what she thinks is short-term care. When her quarterly visit to her children is blocked, Martha discovers that the Society has indentured her two eldest out to work in New York and Illinois via the Orphan Train, and has placed her two youngest for permanent adoption in Ohio. Stunned at their loss, Martha begs for her children back, but the Society refuses.

Rather than succumb--the Civil War erupting around her--Martha sets out to reclaim each of them.

Review Quotes

"...Tracey does a masterful job in this novel, developing Martha as a
relatable narrator; readers will find that their spirits rise and fall with
hers. For the most part, her life in the city is almost too wrenching to
witness. The most painful aspect of the story, wonderfully handled by Tracey,
is its depiction of the casual cruelty of the righteous folk who think they
should be thanked as they break families apart. This novel is based on members
of the author's own family; baby Homer became William Lozier Gaston, who's
Tracey's great-great grandfather.

An often painful but uplifting novel by a writer at the top of her game."

Reviews (starred review)

"In The
, Julia Park Tracey reopens America's wounds in prose that is propulsive
and resonant. Martha's struggles are the stuff of classic literature. Theodore
Dreiser comes to mind, but so, too, the fine contemporary novels of Jo Baker
and Maggie O'Farrell." --Christian Kiefer, author of Phantoms

"Julia Park
Tracey's The Bereaved is a novel that weaves its intimately
detailed characters into your soul. At once, heartbreaking, heartwarming, and
absolutely beautiful, this is a story that captures the devastation of loss and
the power of enduring hope." --Lauren Hough, author of Leaving Isn't
the Hardest Thing

"What happens
when a mother is left with no choices? In The Bereaved, Julia Park
Tracey casts a stark light on an era in which hard work and devotion simply aren't
enough for women trapped in poverty. Vivid, haunting, authentic, and utterly
gripping, it's a beautifully written story that will stay with you long after
you turn the last page." --Ellen Meister, author of Farewell, Dorothy
and Dorothy Parker Drank Here

sumptuous, cinematic book is full of heart and concern for women's plights in
this era and gets to the bottom of the Orphan Train tragedy in a way that seems
just as compelling and heartless as from the children's perspective." --Erika
Mailman, author of The Witch's Trinity

, a beautifully researched novel by journalist/historian Julia Park
Tracey, portrays a courageous woman who suffers similar heart-rending losses to
the author's own. Based also on the struggles her third great-grandmother faced
in the American Northeast during the Civil War era, Tracey's story is gritty,
truthful, inspiring, and compassionate. Simply unique." -- Rebecca
Lawton, author of Swimming Grand Canyon and Other Poems (2021)
and What I Never Told You: Stories (2022)

poetic writing. The care, respect, and fierce love for her ancestors is evident
throughout The Bereaved." --Eleanor Parker Sapia, A
Decent Woman
, 2021 International Latino Book Award

"Julia Park
Tracey's work of historical fiction, The Bereaved, is based on the
life of her third great-grandmother. Tracey's meticulous research reveals
Martha's struggles to keep her young family together in such vivid detail that
the reader shares her very real fears, her mounting disappointments, and
finally, her heart-breaking decisions." --Nancy Herman, author of All
We Left Behind: Virginia Reed and the Donner Party

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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 1 inches length x 5.38 inches width x 8.38 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 1 pounds
We regret that this item cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.
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