Sat, Dec

Brave Hearts: A San Francisco Story By Jean Mahoney


The Grit and Dreams of an Irish Immigrant Family
by Jean Mahoney

Brave Hearts is an unforgettable story of grit, bravery, love and determination set in the colorful San Francisco Bay area, showing us all what it is to be human, family, and devoted.
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Telling her ancestors’ stories through historical fiction and nonfiction narrative, author Jean Mahoney brings us four generations of intrepid immigrants, travelers, settlers, lovers, survivors, artists, homemakers, business owners, dressmakers, house painters and farmers.

Beginning with an ocean crossing from Ireland in the 1840s, the family experiences the 1906 earthquake, a devastating train wreck, farming, drought and family tragedy with remarkable resilience.  

Poignant, harrowing and ultimately triumphant, Brave Hearts tells a quintessential American story through the unique lens of a gifted writer.

About the Author
Jean Mahoney is a San Francisco native, grew up in Palo Alto, and has studied San Francisco and the greater Bay Area history for decades.  She is a writer, poet and award-winning educator whose writing has appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Sisters Singing: Blessings, Prayers, Art, Songs, Poetry and Sacred Stories by Women. She taught sixth grade in public school in Santa Cruz for twenty years, and worked as a pioneer in environmental education and the movement for Life Lab school gardens.  She later helped to design and present teacher training programs in the California Environmental Education Initiative curriculum. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

Praise for Brave Hearts
“Brave Hearts  is such a vivid account of the Irish immigrant experience that as a college librarian I would enthusiastically recommend it to students of California and US history. As a reader, I recommend it for the sheer pleasure of a page-turning family epic, brimming with love and heartache, adventures and reversals of fortune. The resilience of these brave hearts is inspiring!”
                           --MARY CAMILLE THOMAS, author and Librarian, Foothill College

"Jean Mahoney has brought the immigrant experience vividly to life in this warm, authentic, humorous, historical fiction saga of her Irish ancestors and the early days of San Francisco.  The tales, trials and triumphs of Charlotte, Philip, their chidren and everyone they encounter will live on forever and deeply touch the hearts and minds of readers."
                --KATE AVER AVRAHAM, author of Joey's Way and What Will You Be, Sara Mee?

“Brave Hearts is not only a San Francisco story, it’s an American story. Author Jean Mahoney writes about her people who, with dreams aplenty, made San Francisco and the California Delta their home.  But as you read, you may find this is also your story. So many of our parents, grandparents, and great grandparents did exactly what Mahoney’s ancestors did—they took a chance and came to new shores for freedom from oppression to create a new home through hard work and wit and tons of determination. Sadly, there could be no better time for this book than now when our government is making life for new immigrants and potential immigrants unbearable. Sit down with a cup of tea, open the book, and settle in for Mahoney's engaging, imaginative family tale.” 
        -- PATRICE VECCHIONE, co-editor of Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience

“Jean Mahoney has a gift for bringing the voices of her Irish ancestors to life. We witness their struggles, loves, joys and pain. What a pleasure to meet these wonderful courageous characters through her lively historical fiction. Mahoney's exquisite attention to detail brings the early history of the San Francisco Bay Area vividly to life.”
                --LAURA DAVIS, author of The Courage to Heal