“Beyond the Western Sea” features three main characters. Maura O’Connell, 15 years old and her brother Patrick, 12, are Irish villagers, evicted from their land by a cruel English landlord. Sir Laurence Kirkle, 11, is the youngest son of that same hated landlord. The three children end up emigrating together, trying to escape their pasts and make it to the New World. A great deal of the plot focuses on Laurence, who having run away, and stolen money in the process, is now being searched for by his abusive family. Book One, subtitled, “The Escape from Home,” focuses on the problems the children experience in the process of immigration. Book Two, “Lord Kirkle‘s Money,” depicts the dangerous journey across the Western Sea, and the racism and working conditions in early America. It also brings the plot to its powerful, bitter-sweet end.
All considered, “Beyond the Western Sea” is a fantastic and memorable reading experience. The two part series is a great addition to any book collection, and makes a great gift for children and young teens.Characters