223 Orchard Street by Renee Ryan – Review

Posted April 28, 2018 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews, New Releases / 0 Comments

223 Orchard Street by Renee Ryan – Review

223 Orchard Street


by Renee Ryan


Published by Waterfall Press
Publication Date April 30, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: New York Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 18-24, 25-34
Written for: Adults
Pages: 334

Synopsis:

A heartening novel of the immigrant experience—and of redemption, self-sacrifice, and the power of hope when all else seems lost.

Irish immigrant Katie O’Connor and her younger sister, Shannon, risk everything to journey to America at the turn of the twentieth century. As each woman passes into an intimidating, stirring, and unpredictable New York City, she is forced to rethink her dream of a better life. It isn’t until Katie begins serving the sick in the depressed slums of the Bowery alongside Dr. Titus Brentwood that she discovers her true calling. Meanwhile, fate directs the vulnerable Shannon down an unsettling path that could put her life at risk.

As Katie’s and Ty’s selflessness and devotion turn into something deeper, Ty must make a choice that could save one O’Connor sister at the expense of losing the other. But Katie hasn’t come this far to let go now. She’ll do anything to save Shannon and hold on to the man she’s come to love.

I would like to thank Netgalley, Renee Ryan for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.


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Katie O’Connor is such a kind and caring woman! She embodies the concept of self-sacrifice and doesn’t even realize it. I love the way she was compelled to care for those around her and her deep desire to serve the hurting people around her.

Titus, known as Ty to his friends, carries so much guilt and pain. I hurt for him as he grieved over what he considered to be his biggest mistake and did his best to “atone” for it by serving at a medical clinic in the slums of New York. His tender heart and need to protect and rescue made him so endearing.

Author Renee Ryan did such a beautiful job of making the life of the Irish immigrants at the turn of the last century come to life, highlighting the hardships, and yet infusing it with hope. I really appreciated the fact that she didn’t give easy solutions to the problems, but still had things work out well. In many ways her book did with prose what Ty’s brother did with photographs.

The medical aspects of the book fascinated me. She explained the processes without making them gory and gave insight into the state of medicine at that time. I had never even wondered when doctors started performing Cesarean births, and now I know more.

This was a lovely story. If you enjoy historical fiction, do yourself a favor and read it.

About Renee Ryan

Renee Ryan Author

Renee Ryan grew up in a Florida beach town where she learned how to surf and skateboard very poorly. As a teenager, she gave up on both pursuits and began entertaining herself during countless hours sitting on the beach by reading all the classics.

After graduating college with a degree in Economics and Religion, she explored various career opportunities at a Florida theme park, and modeling agency. She went on to teach high school while coaching award-winning cheerleading teams.
Renee sold her first book to Dorchester Publishing by winning the inaugural New Historical Voice Contest. She went on to write nineteen books for Harlequin’s Love Inspired imprint, and now writes for Amazon’s Waterfall Press.

A few interesting facts about me:
1. I taught high school Economics, American Government, and Latin (nothing remotely similar to English or creative writing).
2. I had dinner with Oprah
3. I’ve gone skydiving several times
4. I used to run marathons, now I only do Yoga and weights
5. The only C I ever received in college was on an assignment in a creative writing course. I never thought I would become a writer.

Genres I write:
1. Historical Romance
2. Historical Inspirational Romance
3. Short Contemporary Inspirational Romance

Why I write what I write:
Back when I taught high school I quickly learned that my students were resistant to lectures and outlines. However, if I taught the information to them in story form they were not only engaged but also retained the facts for much longer. That’s how I discovered I was a storyteller. I had to learn how to write. It took a while to hone my craft, but now I love taking obscure, complicated facts from historical time periods and bringing them to life in a story. I especially enjoy weaving biblical precepts into my fictional stories. I avoid “preaching” for the same reasons I didn’t “lecture” to my students.

The favorite book or character I’ve written:
I’m asked this question often, and my answer never changes. My favorite book is always the book I just finished. If I can’t say that, then I didn’t work hard enough to make the story unique.

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