Determined to survive, left to starve and not live past his 19 th year, Devin Mahoney blazes a trail that takes us to the time of the potato famine where starvation reigned, and landlords would not pay tariffs for their tenants. Solution: send them to emigrate to America with some food and what little they could carry within a short time period and then leave. Devin was sick but when finally fed he managed to broker free and the walk to Cork which would bring him to the ship carrying him and others would take time, energy and hope. A walk where we get to know the inner kindness of this man, the man he meets in the way , their brief friendship and the final farewell. Even giving a young mother the bulk of his rations and his warm coat in order to protect her children. The journey on the ship was sad and those he met endeared him to their hearts. The Captain and his second in command explain the rules, the time each group could cook and be on deck and Devin seemed to do okay until things changed.
Each family had their own story but the second in command on the ship really hated the Irish and yet Devin proves his worth when things get serious and water is scarce, and food is not as plentiful. Asking to help out with the crew proved beneficial to everyone but when Typhus takes so many lives and a young child named Hannah becomes an orphan where would she go when the ship docks and Devin is gone, with the help of his newfound friend, Marks after saved his life, things turn around or him .
Getting off the ship hoping to find a place to live. But money can do things and when someone learns that he has saved up he learns a hard lesson when robbed. Devin is smart and what he does to retaliate and with his new friends that allow him to live with them, he manages to take aim at the thieves and the result you won’t believe.
Finally leaving the tenement for everyone’s good he finds a hotel run by Mrs.O’Rouke and here is where the next part of the story takes off. The tenants are warm and his attraction to Mary Callahan instant. They’re friendship starts slowly and although he loves his lodgings he gets a job with the railroad which takes him to different locations but their letters let you know their feelings and their hopes: Author Andrew Joyce takes us to a time when jobs were scarce people had to find anything to pay their bills ask a landlady that is so rare. When they finally marry and establish their own home, it’s Mrs. O’Rourke that helps by letting Mary work at the hotel until she finds her own calling. But somethings change and now they’re son Dillon is born but Devin makes a decision that will impact his family with no turning back.
Going to war is risky and dangerous and the correspondence is heartbreaking and the outcome tragic as Devin is killed and his best friend sends a missive to Mary and 12-year-old Dillon must decide his own future . But Mary is steadfast, and his education is paramount, but her life too is cut short and part two now turns to Dillon.
Dillon takes on someone and finds himself in the wrong place but gets rescued and joins a group that takes him on first to help with meals and then in his first cattle drive. Learning the ropes and having the right equipment and weapon he will either succeed or learn more hard lessons. Dillion’s voice is the one we hear as the narrative is now told by him and not the others. Mr. Slokum is the man who hired him, plus Jake who will teach him to defend himself and hopefully how to live in a different way. Wanting his time to take down Luke Short is that the wisest thing to do in order to get his pride back? Sometimes we need to let things go but apparently Dillon is determined to settle the score but at what price?
Dillon takes on someone and finds himself in the wrong place but gets rescued and joins a group that takes him on first to help with meals and then in his first cattle drive. Learning the ropes and having the right equipment and weapon he will either succeed or learn more hard lessons.
Dillon became a deputy and went after cattle rustlers and anyone that Jack wanted taken down. But, when rape and murder of women happened what he does will remind you of how justice was enacted in the old west. With his gun out and his men in tow along with Dillon the scene is right out of Gunsmoke or Bonanza that my father loved to watch. But Dillon wanted his chance at Luke Short, but some victories are short lived.
Dillon gets sideswiped and winds up needing care from Elsie and a friend named May, but he gets a list from Jack and Mr.Slocum as to the names of the men in the gang robbing and terrorizing pro. When the Mayor if the town he’s in asks for his help and rounds up men including Bob who is a criminal to ride with them why does he agree? As a deputy marshal appoint the President why would he tackle this alone and with men he just met? Dillon is impetuous and does not think things throat times and is driven to get the final word with Luke and his gang. It’s like vigilante justice.
As a deputy US marshal Dillon felt he could handle just about any situation but dealing with some of the outlaws would take more than just words and his goal was not just to take them in but take them permanently down. With Bob supposedly there to help , the Mayor and his men the outcome will surprise you as the next conquest arrives. Will he get Luke Short before he gets him? A story about retribution, betrayal, loyalties, revenge and greed plus determination to make their mark as Both Devin and Dillon did before we get to know David.
Dillon changes directions and encounters situations that make him rethink why he became a marshal and then decided on another path. Meeting Emily and finally getting married their lives were cut short and it left Dillon alone with his son, David and his maid Magdalena. But David is spoiled and given everything he could ever want and yet meeting him he’s at a low point shout on cash, down on his luck and hooks up with a man named Ben. Dillon went into business with someone dealing in oil and became rich but when he died all that was left was his house and David needed it sold for money to live. But something changes and the author brings him in contact with people who knew his father, knew about the men he killed and the prejudice that was apparent . Ben and David will hear the story, read about Dillon in the papers but what will the outcome be?
The third part of the story describes David in many different lights as he begins to realize that his life has taken many poor turns and that he needs to find a focus. Wanting to learn more about his father is a start and when he talks with an African American young girl and realizes the horrors that she and her family and others faced it begins to see the world and people in a different light. Getting to know Ben, working his way to many places and then finally hearing the truths about his father, his grandfather and learning how his grandfather Devin worked his way from nothings, taking on any jobs, walking miles and finally finding his way and marrying the sadness when he did not return from war and then Dillon. Learning that his father was a U.S. Marshall who fought to make the west safer, understanding why his father wanted him to be at the bottom of the barrel before allowing him to have any income at all and why he needed to find out where he had to be on his own, this is a story of three generations of three men whose lives did not intersect but yet had a link that would bond them and their memories forever. David Mahoney will he find where he belongs. What happens when he meets John someone who knew Dillon and opens his eyes? Can the past follow us into the present and will our heritage teach us the lessons we need to learn in life as author Andrew Joyce takes us from the Potato Famine to the Depression, to the Wars we fought and then to the realities of prejudice, hate and Washington D.C. and the Lincoln Memorial and then The worlds of Reverend King, which rings out loud and clear: I HAVE A DREAM! What will David’s finally be, and will he achieve it?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews