by Julie Dewey
Release date: January 12, 2016
Raised on a farm, Tabitha Salt, the daughter of Irish immigrants, leads a bucolic and sheltered existence. When tragedy strikes the family, Tabitha and her mother are forced to move to the notorious Five Points District in New York City, known for its brothels, gangs, gambling halls, corrupt politicians and thieves. As they struggle to survive in their new living conditions, tragedy strikes again. Young Tabitha resorts to life alone on the streets of New York, dreaming of a happier future.
The Sisters of Charity are taking orphans off the streets with promises of a new life. Children are to forget their pasts, their religious beliefs, families and names. They offer Tabitha a choice: stay in Five Points or board the orphan train and go West in search of a new life.
The harrowing journey and the decision to leave everything behind launches Tabitha on a path from which she can never return.
GUEST-POST BY THE AUTHOR
by Julie Dewey author of Forgetting Tabitha
Who knew such a thing as orphan trains existed? We aren’t taught about them in high school, they aren’t readily discussed in history books, yet orphan trains were the impetus for the modern foster care system.
Beginning in 1854 the orphan train movement took hundreds of thousands of homeless or neglected children off the chaotic streets of New York City and placed them in carriages heading west. The idea was to embed them in country life as either family members or indentured workers. Either way, it was a fresh start and better life than living in the slums, where brothels, corrupt politicians, opium dens, and gangs were abundant.
In some cases siblings were ripped apart, adopted by different families, it was heart wrenching and seemingly unfair. Yet, in most cases they did go on to have normal familial upbringings. Yes, they were forced to change their names, and become devout Christians, and they were required to forget where they came from. In exchange they were given a place at the family table, and were treated justly. In cases that the orphans didn’t fit in with the families the Sisters of Charity were notified and the situation was rectified.
It was the orphan train movement that led to numerous reforms having to do with welfare and child labor laws. Therefore, it was the origin of today’s foster care system.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
is a novelist who resides with her family in Central New York.
Her daughter is a singer/songwriter,
and her son is a boxer.
Her husband is an all-around hard working,
fantastic guy with gorgeous blue eyes
that had her falling for him the moment they met.
In addition to researching and writing she is an avid reader.
She is also passionate about jewelry design and gemstones.
She loves anything creative, whether it be knitting, stamping,
scrapping, decoupaging, working with metal, or decorating.
Read more here