Widowed Irishman, Brady McCormick made a promise to his young wife the day she died--to bring their son to America and begin a new life in the land of opportunity. Living in charity with a distant uncle in New York, barely scraping by, Brady is unsure he will be able to uphold the promise, much less quell the loneliness, until an angel appears at the docks, Saran Reichardt.
Headstrong and tenacious, gentlewoman Saran knows she's unlike most women of society. Dedicated to teaching and helping the impoverished, she has no need of a man to take care of her, but an accidental encounter with a stormy-eyed Irish immigrant and his young son changes her perception of what need really is. Will this holiday give them both the hope and faith they desire or will their own stubbornness keep them apart?
The port authorities on Ellis Island detained them for hours, first holding them on the ship, then in boarded stalls, shuffled like cattle through registration. Next, they were taken to a special area where their hair and teeth were checked for lice and other abnormalities. Through it all, Brady believed his beloved Mary had watched over them. Much to Brady’s delight, authorities allowed them to retain the name of McCormick, as it was easy to spell. Yet, many were forced to alter their names for ease of registration.
He kept a firm grasp on Danny’s hand as they rounded the corner of the great brick building. A bitter wind assaulted him and nearly snatched his hat from his head. He had no idea what day it was, or what time, except that it was night. Small frozen pellets grazed his cheeks, falling from the inky black sky. Tears stung Brady’s eyes. “Aye, your Ma would have loved this, Daniel. She’d have looked on it as a great adventure.” He clamped his arm around his son’s neck and drew him to his side. “This is what she wanted most for you, Daniel.”
“Is this what you wanted, too, Da?”
His son’s bright blue eyes—the color of his mother’s—looked up at him in child-like wonder. How could he tell him that what he wished for most wasn’t possible? “It was a dream we shared, Daniel, and I shall to my last breath, make it come true for you—for us.”