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Showing 1-10 of 71 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 118 reviews
VINE VOICEon November 12, 2012
MAY THE ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU is historical fiction set during the Civil War. Peter Troy alternates the points of view of four different characters who ultimately converge on Cooperstown, New York.

Ethan McOwen is a young boy when the story begins; we see him become embroiled in the Potato famine in Ireland, losing his sister Aislinn. Ethan emigrates to America where he joins his father and brother Seann, who is involved in Tammany Hall politics. Ethan becomes a photographer, and with his three friends, volunteers for duty with the Irish Brigade. Marcella Arroyo is a headstrong young lady who shuns her father's traditional view of women and joins the emancipation movement. Micah is a master carpenter who is sold at an auction for twice what a field hand would bring. Mary is similar in that she's a much-in-demand dressmaker; she is saved from a much more dire fate when Jusstine Kittridge begs her mother to buy her at auction. They become like sisters.

There's not a whole lot of conflict in the story. Ethan is wounded during the war, but according to the author, he's an even better photographer than Matthew Brady. Micha's first master as an adult is a drunken, lazy thug who beats Micha for no reason, but is smart enough to know how valuable a master carpenter is; when he sells him, he makes twice what he'd get for a strong field hand. Micha's second owner gives him his own house to live in, but he works him even harder than his first master. Mary works as a dressmaker for Jusstine's mother. She's the best seamstress in Richmond, Virginia. So, these are four very formidable people.

There are several motiffs running throughout the story. Ethan blames himself for Aislinn's death and is constantly talking to her; Mary is similar in that she tried to escape once with her protector, Gertie, after being raped by an overseer. Mary blames herself when they're caught and Gertie is killed. She writes to Gertie in a little diary. Micha's father was sold down the river; he had made a deal to grow indigo in an overgrown field his master no longer used. When he had saved a thousand dollars he would buy Micah's freedom. But the master dies and the new master says she knows nothing about any deal. His father is sold at auction and Micah mourns his loss. Marcella is much more self sufficient, although she's lucky she had some place to turn to when she left her father's house.

There are several romantic interludes as well as some Civil War action and the anticipated escape attempt, but the action is ancillary to character development. If you know your history, not much of this is a surprise.
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on July 31, 2012
This story detailed the lives of four people: their trials and triumphs; losses, friends and loves.
It begins during the antebellum period and spans the course of the civil war, the rise of president Lincoln and the eventual freedom of the slaves.
It was an engrossing and quick read, jumping from one character's perspective to another. A few complaints: The author wrote in first and second narrative for the same character which was confusing. Additionally, the slang for an Irish brogue was written out ("t'ank th'Lahrd we've got de only priest in Oireland that doesn't run at th' mouth") as well as the southern drawl("been at dis fo' a looong time"), which was difficult to understand. Several conversations were conducted in french that were never translated.
Otherwise, this historical novel was emotionally touching and informative.
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on March 9, 2014
Peter Troy opens his novel with an evocative image: a child, watching a woman embroidering cloth, only sees the tangle of threads from the underside. It is not until she can see the threads stitched into a design--frontways--that the pattern becomes clear. The lives of the novel's four main characters start in very different places (Ireland during the Hunger, Spain, New York, and the American South), and Troy does not rush the characters' encounters. Each character is fully drawn in his/her own milieu, each one's longings ringing true in the tumultuous era of the American Civil War. Then, when the characters' lives are finally stitched together, the resulting pattern is a tribute to perseverance and love.
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on March 10, 2013
This book tells the story of four lives. It happens to take place around the time of the Civil War, and each individual is affected by the changes of those times in their own, unique way. Although it is not a book about the war, its consequences are addressed with emotion and finesse.

It was particularly wonderful to hear this story told in four different voices. While some performances were better than others, all four actors gave the listener time to absorb their character's feelings and motivations.

There were so many memorable scenes in the story and bits of interesting historic detail. I would recommend this recording to anyone who enjoys American historical fiction or just a good story.
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on August 16, 2013
This story gives you a great sense of African-American slave, Irish Immigrant, and enlisted civil war life, through the eyes and emotions of the characters. The Civil War references were all historically accurate and researched, and it seemed to me that the settings of the immigrant and slave characters were historically accurate as well. I felt like I really got a sense of what it would have been like to live and love as these characters in the last half of the 19th century. I will warn that getting to the half way mark of the book seemed to drag a bit and I started to wonder how all these characters would tie in together. However, I continued to read and the story really started to bloom and entrance me.
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on September 30, 2012
This was a good story that kept my interest through out the entire book. I thought it was somewhat different how the author introduced each set of characters. The book started off with the irish immigrants and their coming to America and suddenly stopped and moved to a young slave boy and his story; then to a young female slave and her story. Then their stories stopped and went to a young rich female rebel and her story. Once each of these main characters were introduced the author began to weave their lives together. Good life stories for each set of characters and how their lives all came together. All in all a good read if you enjoy historical fiction and period books.
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on February 22, 2013
Historical fiction at its best. Great character development and historical detail woven together with good description and genuine dialogue. Really transported me to this time and place, and these (mostly) very likeable people.
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on March 13, 2012
May the Road Rise Up to Meet You: A Novel
Wonderful! This book goes beyond just the entertainment that a novel can bring. This book made me reflect on my life. It reminds me that wherever I am in my life is exactly where I'm supposed to be, but if I want to change where I am, I can do it. The characters, in their colloquial language and accents, written so honestly and purely by Peter Troy take you on a personal journey that makes you laugh and cry at times, but most often, makes you think. You can't help but root for all of them to overcome obstacles that might thwart someone on the path to where they wish to go, as they press on with the help of the kindness of others of this Earth and those gone by. What an inspirational tale of the hope that something better than where you are in life is capable. Once you read this book, you will want to pass it on to someone, which is just want Ethan McOwen would want you to do!
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on May 14, 2012
Great story. Loved how all the characters, Ehan,Marcella,Micah and Mary all came together to make a great story. Ireland, the Civil War, slavery all wound together as the author tells a story of each character. The dialect helped depict the struggles in Ireland and slavery in the south and then the French language was brought into the mix. Some of my book club did not like the dialect and found it hard read. The story moved back and forth telling about the struggles each person faced as they struggled to survive.
I hated to see the book end and found myself wanting more.
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on April 19, 2013
Story was okay, but seemed too contrived and very predictable. The fact that an Irish immigrant would meet a abolitionist Spanish immigrant and the befriends a run away slave seems hard to believe. But for the slave to go back 2-3 years later to Richmond, VA and quickly finds his true love within a few days after the war is over.... hard to believe.
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