A compelling story about growing up during the late 1950s and 1960s in a New Bedford, Massachusetts working-class family, Blue Collars details the triumphs and tragedies of the Kilroy family. Told through the eyes of young Fiona “Finn” Kilroy, whose father worked as a loomfixer at the Berkshire Hathaway textile mill along the city’s waterfront, her story unfolds in the city’s South End, a neighborhood where Portuguese, Irish, French, and Cape Verdean immigrant families lived side-by-side in mostly three-decker tenement houses typical of many New England cities.
Surrounded by the love of a caring, extended family, Finn’s life seems, on the surface, to be carefree and idyllic, but a terrible secret haunts her childhood. This is the story of a young girl’s endurance in the face of betrayal and her brave efforts to overcome the shocks that rock her world. Finn’s efforts to present a normal face breaks the reader’s heart. Her story infuriates – even as her determination to stay strong and survive will inspire every reader.
From Finn’s tumultuous childhood to her coming of age, we experience her family’s life of love, abuse, and heartache amidst a backdrop of historical events that shaped this American industrial city—financial upheaval and textile strikes.
Author and artist, Catherine McLaughlin grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. After receiving graduate degrees at University College Dublin and Bowling Green State University, she taught English and writing for 40 years. Now professor emerita Framingham State University, she lives in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. To learn more about Catherine check out our Meet the Author page.
Blue Collars will be released in March 2018. To reserve your copy click here. Check back soon for more information and samples from the book.