The Bereaved: A Novel

We rated this book:


From the first sentence (“My man Bram died on a Saturday evening, when all the world and its children take their baths.”) to the last (“There is always something for the bereaved to mourn”) I was completely captivated by this stunning novel in which a widow must do all that she can to protect her four young children. She flees with them to New York City to escape a predatory man and to find work, but Martha is completely unprepared for the rigors and perils of 1860s urban life in the tenements. There, the children cannot attend school: she needs them to hunt for scraps in the streets and to help mind the baby while she looks for employment. The amount of labor required simply to keep her little family fed, clothed, and halfway clean is staggering. “Work for money and leave them alone, or stay with them and starve. Those aren’t choices a mother should have to make…” That stark reality leads Martha to make a decision with terrible consequences. Based on meticulous research into the author’s own family history, we do not need to know what “really happened” in order to believe Martha’s dilemma, for every beautifully written page rings true.

Reviewed By:

Author Julia Park Tracey
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 274 pages
Publisher Sibylline Press
Publish Date 08-Aug-2023
ISBN 9781736795422 Buy this Book
Issue September 2023
Category Fiction