Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine is the story of immigrant survival inspired by the life of my great grandmother, who came to the USA in 1881. The book tells the fictional story of love between an Irish single mother and a Chinese medical practioner. The novel is set against the backdrop of the 19th Century Catholic church and historical events such as the building the transcontinental railroad, child labor, and the vigilante group the Molly Mcguires. It is a narrative of family and hope despite injustice, tragedy, and forbidden love.
The main characters are from opposite sides of the world but have much in common: fleeing oppression, escaping starvation, confronting prejudice, and surviving violence. Together, they persist, discovering entrepreneurship as the gateway for immigrant survival. In the late 1990’s, Irish “Bridget’s” sailed to America to clean house in the east and Chinese men came to build the railroad out west – a gender imbalance in both communities led to relationships and some marriages too. They meet due to of a friendship between Chinese and Irish men that began on the railroad.
Another couple in the book are priests, torn between their vows of celibacy and their attraction to one another. The story also features Chinese acupuncturists and bone setters, several children, Irish dancers, a Philadelphia crime boss, and an inspiring Mother Superior.
Irish Luck, Chinese Medicine is dedicated to the millions who have endured tempest tossed lives for their children could breathe free.