From the Publisher
This family saga takes place in Ireland and New York City in the second half of the nineteenth century. It begins in 1849 when a thirteen-year-old boy, through a cruel twist of fate, lands at the tip of the island at Castle Garden. Frightened and alone, James Barry simply walks off the ship onto the city’s congested streets and begins his adventure. For the next fourteen years he works on the docks and lives in the Bowery until, so disgusted by the draft riots, he signs up on a clipper and spends the next two years on the open seas. He winds up back in Ireland and meets and marries a girl from his own village. After three children and a futile attempt at farming land he knew he could never own he heads back to post Civil War America.Beyond Forgetting You is a personal account of how James’ family co-existed with their neighbors in a Westside tenement in lower Manhattan. The story is simultaneously told through his youngest daughter’s journals. Bridget optimistically describes her life and her family’s plight to become middle-class. She tells the intricacies of inner-city living and gives a realistic look at social problems and how the lower class dealt with events, politics, ideas and uptown opulence. Manhattan was then much as it is today, a very overcrowded and exciting city where the family constantly struggled to survive while never losing their simple pleasure in being alive.