An Irish Story of Love and Redemption
By Monica Dougherty
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Growing up amidst family secrets and lost dreams, Rose Donovan, a TV reporter from Chicago, wants to discover her own dream. Always on the lookout for a great story—and a great love—she has no idea that both are already in her own backyard; or at least nearby. Inheriting a family ring and an unfinished diary from her dying mother, Rose travels to Ireland. With the help of a psychic she is taken back to the story of her ancestors, Rose Ryan and James Kilroy. Living through the harrowing and tragic times of the Great Hunger, they are torn apart by events beyond their control.
Fleeing starvation, tyranny and oppression in their native land they are reunited in America only to find similar horrors being forced upon the Native population and the African slaves. Interwoven in their story is the plight of a group of Native Oneida people on a forced march to treatied lands in Wisconsin and of Joshua Glover, a runaway slave from Missouri. His decision to stop running sets in motion events that culminate in one of the worst shipwrecks in Lake Michigan maritime history, the sinking of the Lady Elgin.
The family ring was recovered, but the story was not until Rose Donovan’s journey enables her to not only bring the story of the ring back to her family, but also empowers her to follow her own dream, a powerful gift from her ancestors.
After more than 20 years researching her family history, artist and author Monica Dougherty discovered the story of her ancestors in Ireland and also of their connection to tumultuous events in America, the country of their refuge. Rose’s Ring is the culmination of that journey. Her children’s book, You’re A Miracle…Pass it On! was published in 2007 and she is co-author with Mary Beth Sammons of Images of America: Irish American Heritage Center. A member of the Irish Heritage Singers and a long-time volunteer at the Irish American Heritage Center, Monica lives with her family in Chicago.
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