Eileen O’Finlan and Mary Anne Slack

Eileen O’Finlan, author of Erin's Chldren and Mary Anne Slack, author of The Sacrificial Daughter
Reading, discussion and book signing
Tuesday, April 30 at 5:30pm

In 1851 Irish Famine survivor, Meg O'Connor, buys passage to America for her younger sister, Kathleen, and arranges employment for her as a maid. Kathleen's feisty spirit soon puts her at odds with her employers, the bigoted and predatory Pratts. Driven from their home, Kathleen ends up on a wild adventure taking her to places she could never have imagined. As a domestic servant in the Worcester, Massachusetts home of the kindly Claprood family. Meg enjoys a life beyond her wildest imaginings. Yet she must keep her marriage to Rory Quinn a secret. Rory, still in Ireland, eagerly awaits the day he will join her. But as the only jobs open to Irish men pay poorly, Rory's imminent arrival threatens to plunge her back into dire poverty.On the eve of the Civil War, while America is being rent asunder by the fight over slavery, Irish Catholics wage their own war with the growing anti-immigrant Know Nothing party.

Through grave doubts, dangers, and turmoil, Meg and Kathleen must rely on their faith and the resilient bonds of sisterhood to survive and claim their destinies in a new and often hostile land.

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Eileen O’Finlan
has lived most of her life in Holden, Massachusetts. She holds an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in pastoral ministry. She has a passion for books, history, New England, and cats. She recently achieved one of her goals by turning an unused room in her house into a home library.

Eileen is the author of four books, Kelegeen, Erin’s Children, All the Furs and Feathers – Book 1 in the Cat Tales series, and The Folklorist. Erin’s Children was a finalist for the Goethe Award through Chanticleer International Book Awards. All the Furs and Feathers won the Literary Titan Gold Book Award, The Folklorist won the Literary Titan Silver Book Award, and All the Furs and Feathers is currently a finalist for the CIBA Mark Twain Award.

She is currently writing an epic fantasy tentatively titled The Winter House and is diligently doing the research for the next book in her Irish Family series. The second book in the Cat Tales series, All in the Furry Family, is due to be released in February of 2025.

The Sacrificial Daughter tells the story of Mary Ellen, a single, thirty-five-year old teacher who lives with her mother in Worcester, Massachusetts. Chafing at the confines of her life, she says yes to a chance to travel to China with friends. Through a series of realizations and experiences while far from home, Mary Ellen returns ready to shake up her—and her mother’s—world. But when a mother’s love becomes a daughter’s burden, is there really a way out?

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Mary Anne Kalonas Slack’s short stories have been published in the literary magazines MUSED and Adelaide, as well as the 2023 anthology published by Quabbin Quills. She lives in Central Massachusetts with her husband. The Sacrificial Daughter is her first novel.

Event date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2024 - 5:30pm
Event address: 
372 Chandler Street
Worcester, MA 01602