Longing for Home


When we meet Irena Marie Preseren, she is 17 years old and preparing to pass through Ellis Island. She is emigrating from Austria to America alone, in order to marry a man of her father's choosing.  Fate makes her a widow mere days later and she faces even more challenges trying to settle with her father and stepsister in a strange land. 

Seamus McMann is a stout Irishman who has found a home in Cheyenne. A tradesman and town blacksmith, he knows everyone and is well liked. A spark ignites between him and the young widow and when tragedy strikes he comes to her rescue, forever forging their futures. 

An intriguing view into the life of an immigrant in America as the world floods forth into the young melting-pot nation. The reader is taken from the stench of Ellis Island, to the wilds of the West, to the poverty of Chicago, then back to the West where home is finally discovered. A poignant picture of poverty and struggle is deftly presented by the author. The language of the story is stilted, but represents the challenge of language barriers during the transition of becoming an American. Unfortunately, at times there are clear errors that were missed in editing, creating stumbling blocks. The shining light is the romance that is Seamus and Irena’s gift. For all the strife that they face and overcome, fate allows them the honor of love and happiness, which Ms. Wayman beautifully crafts. 

Penelope Anne Bartotto