It’s the early twentieth century. Children work in mines and factories, women test boundaries, war erupts in Europe, and a devastating pandemic kills millions worldwide.
An explosion in a Pennsylvania coal mine robs four siblings of their childhood. They watch in horror as grim-faced men carry their fatally wounded father from the rubble. Thirteen-year-old Robert becomes the head of the family; Ceci looks after her younger siblings; Ilona works in the silk mill while Rudi hides his fears and vulnerability behind false bravado.
Forces beyond their control would shape their destinies. When Ceci marries, she moves to a small house on Peace Street in Hazleton, PA. The house will provide a place of hope and stability for those she loves. But world events intrude, tearing the family apart. While Ceci waits for letters, Ilona’s passion leads her in unconventional and dangerous directions. Her brothers, Robert and Rudi, join the army and report to Camp Hancock in Augusta, Georgia. Ceci fears what will happen to them on the battlefields of France.
The House on Peace Street is a quick-moving saga that follows a family’s trajectory as they struggle to find inner strength in a rapidly changing world.
Virginia Rafferty created a flesh and blood character with Ceci. She's a universal figure, an archetype--someone readers will recognize and root for.” Paul Davis author of When the Heart Hurts
The House on Peace Street explores a significant and difficult period of change in our nation that is often overlooked. Rafferty takes us there through the eyes of compelling characters you'll remember long after the story ends. If you care about the history of our nation and the struggle of everyday people, you must read this book. Mary Beth Gibson author of The Duncullen Saga
Wonderful story, rich history
I read this one in three days. Short, brilliant chapters pull the reader along, giving rich detail to the story of an "ordinary" family at the beginning of the 20th century. Painstakingly researched, facts are woven in seamlessly to put the reader right into the story, tasting the coal dust, feeling the steam on laundry days. It will break your heart and mend it again.