Irish immigrant Florence Burke has lived in Massachusetts for more than a decade but he's still a tenant farmer and his family lives in near-poverty. He came to America for a better life, but finds his adoptive country less than hospitable. Florence recognizes that owning land is the path to prosperity, but the bank won’t grant him a loan and he’s running out of options.
An opportunity arises that could make his dreams come true, but it involves great personal risk to both himself and his family. He recalls the gamble he took when he fled the Potato Famine in Ireland, and wonders if he could make a gamble on his life one more time? Will his wife and children understand his decision to join the war?
Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke is based on nineteen original letters from my great, great grandfather to his wife and children. It is a story of one Irish immigrant in a million struggling to make it in America at a time when the nation is divided.
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About the Author
Table of ContentsDedication................iii
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This story unravels at a terrific pace. The characters are believable and fit the voice of Florence's letters that are beautifully woven into the story. Ellen is a tenacious, warm woman who is a beacon of strength for all women surviving during that difficult time in history. I found the book educational as much as enjoyable, telling the story of Irish immigrants in a way that will stay with me.
Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke is an amazing story that follows the journey of an Irish immigrant to America and the life he makes for himself and his family. It was like peeking in the window and watching the day by day events, the emotions, the struggles, and the love that lasted a lifetime. We begin the story in 1849 as Florence and his brother make their way from Ireland to America to escape the Potato Famine. Florence finds his way to West Springfield, Massachusetts to find Ellen, his true love. Ellen and her family had left Ireland earlier, but Florence knew he had to follow his one true love. Florence finds his way north after landing in New York and bidding his brother goodbye. He and Ellen are reunited, they marry, and together they start their new life and family. They soon are blessed with two wonderful boys, Michael and Jerry, and then beautiful baby Grace. Life is hard in America and Florence believes his only option is to buy his way into the army, taking the place of a rich man who will deed him his own land and not have to go and fight the battle, thus making life better and easier for his family. Life becomes hard for Ellen and the boys as they must cultivate and work the new farmland, and adjust to the struggles caused by the raging Civil War while Florence is far away. Ellen B. Alden has made the pages in this book come alive. The people are real, and her family, and she has created this story from old letters and research, sharing with us a beautiful story of love, hardship, wartime, and life. I felt as though I was reading Florence and Ellen’s diary and had a personal attachment to them both. It was impossible to put Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke down. I highly recommend this book and would love to see it become a movie; I even have the cast picked out. If you love Civil War history with a strong touch of love and daily struggles, then this is a must-read for you. It is a five star winner.
My 3rd great-grandparents were also famine immigrants so this story resonates with me.