Kitchen Canary is an historical fiction novel described by Midwest Book Review as, “Exceptionally well written, thoroughly absorbing, consistently entertaining.”
Boston, 1868…Two young Irish women immigrate to work as domestics (kitchen canaries) for the Brennan family. They soon become entangled in the secrets and lies of their employer. They are violated and humiliated and hide their shame even from one another. They each carry the guilt of their lost virginity and the fear of the fate they will suffer if their secret is exposed. In four short years, Katie O’Neil and Moira Murphy experience the evil and good of others, love, despair and redemption, as they pursue their dream of an American life. Welcome to their journey.
Kitchen Canary offers little known historical facts about the Irish famine, the Boston political scene, and plight of immigrants and negroes freed after the Civil War.
A recurring theme in reviews is, “I couldn’t put the book down.”
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Kitchen Canary is a debut novel for Joanne Parsons. Joanne learned from an aunt that her grandfather was the son of a kitchen canary (Irish domestic), and the master of the house. After he was born, the employer put the domestic out and kept the child.
Joanne was widowed and retired from a career in eldercare administration in a span of eighteen months. Fictionalizing her grandfather’s birth story and creating the characters became a catharsis for her grief and loneliness.
“I realized as I was researching the book, that it was about all immigrants, not just the Irish. Many readers have made the connection that we are still dealing with the same issues today, the plight of immigrants assimilating into American life and abuse of power.”
At the urging of readers, Joanne wrote a sequel to Kitchen Canary. “It’s a book that can stand alone, as I recap the journey of the characters in Kitchen Canary. ‘Through the Open Door’ picks up the story seven years after the end of Kitchen Canary and we find out how they each have managed their lives.”
Joanne lives on a pond on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. She recently remarried and enjoys being surrounded by her three grandsons whenever they visit. She enjoys book signings and book club appearances. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org