Wildflower Girl (Children Of the Famine, #2)

PDF-file by Marita Conlon-McKenna

Wildflower Girl (Children Of the Famine, #2) PDF ebook download ‘Wildflower Girl’, by Marita Conlon McKenna is the much-loved sequel to ‘Under the Hawthorn Tree’.It is set in post-famine Ireland; a time of hardships, emigration and uncertainty.The book begins with Peggy, the central character, receiving news that her and her siblings have been offered a free passage to America.Peggy is thrilled, she dreams about the New World where she will make her fortune, but her sister Eily does not share her excitement.Eily is anxious about what will become of the family, once upon a time they were separated and she doesn’t want this fate to become them again.She feels responsible for their elderly aunt who so kindly took them in during the dark days of the Irish Famine.Her predicament heightens when the family learn that their rented bakery shop is being sold and so they will all be left homeless.Bleakness abounds their little village, there are few jobs and relatively no hope for many of the neighbouring families and so many decide to take up the offer of emigration.Eventually Eily reluctantly gives in and tells 14 year old Peggy that she too can go to America.Peggy is apprehensive about making the journey alone and feels slightly betrayed by her siblings - her brother Michael finds a job locally and Eily decides to marry the man she loves.This point in book is heartbreakingly sad, the author captures the thoughts and feelings of the characters excellently and the reader can really empathize with the O’Driscoll family and the pain with which impending separation brings.The journey across the Atlantic is horrendous; Peggy has to endure sea-sickness, cabin fever and watch her friends attempt to survive in cramped, over-crowded conditions.On arriving in America she finds a job immediately and is thrilled at her good fortune.However, her new position as a kitchen-maid proves to be far more demanding than any work she did for her aunts back in her hometown of Castletaggart.She works long hours and at night-time longs for the comfort and security of her family.Towards the end of the book Peggy’s situation brightens somewhat though the book’s ending tells us a lot about the feelings of the central character as well as the time that she lived in.The book is beautifully written; McKenna enchants us into the novel with her lavish descriptions of the Irish countryside and brilliantly portrays the simple lifestyle of the O’Driscoll family.This book would be suitable for able readers in Year 5 and upwards.

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