New Hampshire resident Emilie Christie Burack was inspired by her own family history to pen this tale set in New York City (during Boss Tweed's childhood) and the Shetland Islands.
"I am apprentice to smith Peter O'Reilly, first cousin of Billy Tweed, who happens to be the only person I know in the City of New York who was actually born here. Billy found me five months before, wandering lost and confused, when I first stumbled off the ship from Liverpool. the O'Reilly Forge shoes horses for the city's high and mighty, and I wouldn't have the work if it wasn't for Billy. Its low ceiling and soot-coated walls on Eighth Street and Broad Way are near Washington Square, where I often wander at dusk, damp grass at me toes, trying not to forget the stark windblown hills of me island home.
Back in me homeland I'm wanted for one crime I committed and one I did not, so having the chance to learn the blacksmith trade is beyond me wildest dreams." (p. 1-2)