Moira's Crossing by Christina Shea
2001 Pocket Books (first published in 2000)
Finished on February 24, 2022
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)
It is 1921 in Ireland. When their mother dies in childbirth, Moira and Julia O'Leary are left to rear their infant sister, Ann, while their father, a sheep farmer, despairs. After Ann dies, Moira and Julia depart Cork for Boston, but the painful secret behind Ann's death haunts their new lives and presages the confusion that will come to trouble the next generation.
Moira and Julia have always been strikingly different, but theirs is a mercilessly dependable relationship-Moira's boldness is fortified by Julia's quiet inner purpose, while Julia lives vicariously through her sister's impulsive actions. Moira's Crossing charts their shared journey through marriage, children, and lobstering off the coast of Maine.
At once an examination of the troubled intimacy of sisterhood and an inquiry into the meaning of faith, Moira's Crossing is also a story of what we leave behind and who we become because of it.
I've been pulling a lot of books from the shelves of my TBR bookcase, sampling a few pages at a time to see what clicks. My mom must have given me her copy of Moira's Crossing since I've never heard of the author or the novel. Glancing at Goodreads, it doesn't look like anyone I know has read it, either. So, let me introduce you to a wonderful story about three sisters. Raised by their father in Ireland, Moira and Julia eventually emigrate to America in the 1920s where they discover their individual passions on the coast of Maine. Devoid of cliche and stereotypes, Moira's Crossing was an unexpected pleasure. Easily read in a couple of days, I was eager to see what the future held for both young women. Theirs is a moving story of the challenges of a fractured family, perseverance in times of troubles, guilt, loyalty, and unrequited love. I was entranced by this debut novel. Highly recommend.