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In 1908, sixteen-year-old Bridey runs away from her small town in Ireland with her same-age sweetheart Thom. But when Thom dies suddenly of ship fever on their ocean crossing, Bridey finds herself alone and pregnant in a strange new world.
Forced by circumstance to give up the baby for adoption, Bridey finds work as a maid for the Hollingworth family at a lavish, sprawling estate. It's the dawn of a new century: innovative technologies are emerging, women's roles are changing, and Bridey is emboldened by the promise of a fresh start. She cares for the Hollingworth children as if they were her own, until a mysterious death changes Bridey and the household forever. For decades, the terrible secrets of Bridey's past continue to haunt the family. And in the present day, the youngest Hollingworth makes a connection that finally brings these dark ghost stories into the light.
Told in interweaving timelines and rich with detailed history, romance and dark secrets, Helen Klein Ross' The Latecomers spans a century of America life and reminds us all that we can never truly leave the past behind.
"A born story-teller, a brilliant writer, a century of American history, and an old house that has witnessed secrets, betrayals, love and death, read the first page and I dare you to stop. With The Latecomers, Helen Klein Ross has outdone herself."
--- Abigail Thomas, author of A Three Dog Life and What Comes Next and How to Like It
"A triumph of storytelling, The Latecomers is a brilliantly researched and masterly told chronicle of the decades and generations in one immigrant's journey-and the deeply guarded alliances and secrets kept along the way. Ross has written a novel brimming with historical resonance, a riveting read infused with subtle wit and great intelligence."
--- Kate Walbert, author of His Favoritesand A Short History of Women
"For me, the best kind of historical fiction so expertly immerses you in the story and characters that you don't realize that you're receiving an education in the time and place. Helen Klein Ross does just this in The Latecomers. Her eye for accurate, interesting detail pertaining to the lives of women both upstairs and down in early twentieth century New York City and Connecticut, and her ear for the nuances of human behavior make for an engrossingly rich, unforgettable read. The breadth of her research in this novel astonishes me. I couldn't put it down."
--- Lynn Cullen, author of Mrs. Poe and Twain's End