A tale set in 1920’s Dublin, in the vast tenement district, chronicling the poverty and struggle of its inhabitants, told through the life of Ivy Rose Murphy, complete with an Angela’s Ashes alcoholic father, a mother who abandoned the family, and a vile, evil local priest.
Here is the official plot description:
On New Year’s Day 1925 Ivy Rose Murphy awakes to find her world changed forever. Her irresponsible Da is dead. She is grief-stricken and alone – but for the first time in her life free to please herself.
After her mother deserted the family, Ivy became the sole provider for her da and three brothers. Pushing a pram around the well-to-do areas of Dublin every day, she begged for the discards of the wealthy which she then turned into items she could sell around Dublin’s markets.
As she visits the morgue to pay her respects to her Da, a chance meeting introduces Ivy to a new world of money and privilege, her mother’s world. Ivy is suddenly a woman on a mission to improve herself and her lot in life.
Jem Ryan is the owner of a livery near Ivy’s tenement. When an accident occurs in one of his carriages, leaving a young girl homeless, it is Ivy he turns to. With Jem and the people she meets in her travels around Dublin, Ivy begins to break out of the property-ridden world that is all she has ever known.
It is kind of cozy noir, as things progressively get better, in spite of a snag here and there. I found it a lovely read, and there is a sequel, too.