Seventeen-year-old Irena clutches all of her belongings, waiting to be processed through Ellis Island in 1892. She hopes for a better life than she had as a Slovenian maid.
“Life in America is difficult and unsettling,” she thinks. “I had the sensation of disintegrating. I felt myself in little pieces. Was I Slovene, American or even maybe Irish? Catholic or Pagan? For a moment I wasn’t sure even if I were male or female. I felt myself dissolving into the mountains and the fresh blue sky.”
Against the backdrop of the Wyoming cattle wars, an Irish neighborhood in Chicago’s meat packing district, and through the depression of the 1890s in Durango Colorado, Irena must tap into unknown strengths and learn to love herself and her husband in order to find her way home.
Longing for Home is a tale of exploration, love, hardship, resilience and finding one’s place in the world, set against the backdrop of the great American Age of Immigration.