The year is 1900 and orphaned 14-year-old Rosetta and her beloved younger sister Flora sail from England as “home girls.” They are sent to Canada so that they can have a chance at family life. Their dreams are shattered when Flora is adopted, but Rosetta is deemed to be too old. She is to become a farm worker, far from Flora’s new home.
Rosetta’s only dream is to find her sister. But slowly and against her will, she is drawn into the lives of the strange couple with whom she has been placed. It is soon clear to her that their home is full of fear and sorrow.
As her relationship develops with the farmer’s wife, Rosetta learns that true sisterhood can take many forms. The support the two young women offer one another makes each one stronger until they find a way to follow their dreams.
Linda Holeman’s work has received numerous honors. For young adults she has written a collection of stories, Saying Good-bye, and the novels, Promise Song and Mercy’s Birds. Both Promise Song and Mercy’s Birds were selected for Books for the Teen Age lists by the New York Public Library.
Praise for Promise Song:
“Holeman’s story has plenty of authentic detail and vivid description … [she] has done an excellent job of bringing this period to life.” — Winnipeg Free Press
Praise for Mercy’s Birds:
“Eloquent and impacting, Mercy’s story is an engrossing one, charged with emotional depth.” — Booklist
“…this novel will engage readers…Rosetta’s pluck and determination make her an admirable heroine, and the story is exciting.” –School Library Journal