Summer, 1920. The immigration and public health authorities on Ellis Island in New York Harbor are slowly recovering from the war years, even as a new influx of European and African immigrants is flooding the Great Hall. A young, pregnant, Irish woman, Ciara McManaway, disappears from the Isolation Hospital on Ellis Island.
Stephen Robbins, a specialist in finding the missingpersons as well as thingsis sent to Ellis Island by his boss in the Bureau of Investigation to locate the McManaway woman. Once Stephen sets up shop (living in the Psychopathic Ward of the Isolation Hospital), he meets a nurse named Lucy Paul, who is also an investigator, sent by the American Medical Association to explore why so many patients in the Ellis Island Hospitals are dying of unexplained causes or disappearing entirely.
Thrown together in increasingly dangerous circumstances, Stephen and Lucy eventually discover a conspiracy inspired by Blanche Taylor, the Head Nurse in the Isolation Hospital. Taylor is a sweet and grandmotherly woman who is venerated as a Christian saint by those around her. Taylor and her followerscalled the Congregationare quietly disposing of those types of immigrants who, they believe, should be kept from entering the United States because they will corrupt and replace the pure Nordic core of the American population.
As Stephen and Lucy’s partnership becomes more intimate, she confesses to him that she is herself a “mulatto,” and they realize that under the increasingly strict immigration policies of the 1920s, neither would likely be admitted to the United States. And when Nurse Taylor and her disciples realize that Stephen and Lucy are there to stop the series of immigrant murders, the partners themselves become the next targets.
Set in the years following World War I, when racial tensions in the U.S. are growing and the science of eugenics is widely accepted, My Mistress’ Eyes are Raven Black explores just how far human beings will go to protect racial purity and condemn those they fear.
|Publisher:||Turner Publishing Company|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.00(d)|
About the Author
His debut novel, A Short Time to Stay Here, won the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction, and his second novel, That Bright Land, won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award as well as the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South. Both novels won the annual Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction, given to the author of the best novel written by a North Carolinian. His third novel, The Holy Ghost Speakeasy and Revival, was published by Turner in 2018. His newest book, My Mistress’ Eyes Are Raven Black, is a literary thriller set on Ellis Island and is due out from Turner in Spring 2021.
As well as being an award-winning novelist, Dr. Terry Roberts is a lifelong teacher and educational reformer. Since 1992, he has been the Director of the National Paideia Center, a school reform organization dedicated to making intellectual rigor accessible to all students. Born and raised near Weaverville, North Carolina, Roberts is the Director of the National Paideia Center and lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife, Lynn. He has three adult children: Jesse, Margaret, and Henry.