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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Life is a journey. It has its ups and downs. For Tressa O’Daire, master baker in Dublin, soon to be wed to the handsome bricklayer, Séamus Bannon, little did she know that life would have so many downs and such a long journey, far from home, before things would start to look up for her. It took a lot of courage and the will to protect her unborn child to force her decision to leave her home and family and cross the Atlantic to start a new life in New York, a life where she hoped that one day she would be able to have her own business, her own bakery.
Barbara T. Cerny’s novel, Tressa, is a compassionate tale of love, hardship and both the horrors and the joys of life itself. Set initially in the early years of the nineteenth century in Dublin, Ireland, the story moves across the ocean to New York where the lives of many were just as difficult as they had been in the country they left behind. From a master baker to a nursemaid and then a baker again, Tressa saw the wide extremes of good and evil, not just in the people around her, but also in life itself. Her character glows through the pages of this story, her strong personality and courage growing with each new challenge, each new experience.
The reader is pulled directly into the story to follow the plot as it leads this wonderful, passionate woman, an amazing baker and a caring individual, through trials and hardships and so much more. With clever and accurate insight into the lives of women in this era, the author has created a powerful story about the working class that equals the intensity of many Catherine Cookson novels. A great read and a thrilling plot.