“Going Home by James Shipman is a book about growing up and going home. It wasn’t until I finished this book that I realized that it was written by the author about his family ancestors. Poor Joseph Forsyth has been used and abused from the beginning. First he and his family leave Ireland to find peace and prosperity. On the voyage to America, Joseph’s drunkard father loses all his money in a card game and sells Joseph into bondage. Joseph is taken to Quebec and after his indenture is determined to find his father and mother. He actually does find his father in northern New York State and stays to help his wayward father, new wife and half-sister keep their farm. He is hard-working, determined and loyal – to his detriment.
His father has not stopped his drinking nor his gambling and in order to pay off a debt, Joseph enlists in the Northern Army during the Civil War. He is wounded in battle and would have died except for the care and concern of a nurse in the Union hospital.
Eventually recovering, he returns home to marry a hometown girl and tries to make something of himself. His wife Lucy’s father is a manipulating man who always gets what he wants and only if it profits him. Joseph endures years of being under another’s thumb until he’s had enough. What ensues next is uplifting, yet sad.
The author did a fine job of writing about his ancestors. The book was hard to read in spots and it seemed as though Joseph took a long time to stand up to what he wanted.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley.com in order to be able to post a review.