Dominic's Daughter - Barbara Mullen
It is 1889, and two sons of first-generation Irish immigrants rob a payroll sack from a baggage car on the Lake Superior South Shore Railroad in northernmost Michigan. When both are captured the next day, Eddie, the oldest, persuades Dominic, a juvenile, to take the fall for the crime. Released from prison a year later, Dominic learns that Eddie has skipped the state with the loot, invested it in oil stocks in Minnesota, and made a fortune. Dominic drowns his disappointment in barleycorn, causing his new bride, Barbara, to take their baby, Ruthie, and leave him.
Barbara and Ruthie move into a boarding house owned by Ruthie's rigid, maternal, Irish, matriarch grandma. Here, Ruthie begins her young life in a house full of colorful, eccentric characters-laborers, sailors, and drifters. From that moment on, three generations of the Hogans and Mahaars wage war upon each other. Ruthie is caught in the middle as both families struggle against the ravages of poverty-food that never stretches far enough, twelve-year-old boys who labor on iron ore docks or in the mines, girls who clean hotels and inns far from home and in dangerous settings.
Learning the family secret-how thirteen-year-old Ma was raped while living and working in a lumberjack inn and then gave birth to an illegitimate daughter-causes young Ruthie to question all of her previously held beliefs . . . revelations that may eventually save her own life.