Coming late Spring 2018
a novel by Catherine McLaughlin
Catherine McLaughlin’s novel, Blue Collars, is a powerful work of fiction. From the first page to the last, the story is both real and relatable. Finn Kilroy and her supporting cast of characters jump right off the page, making Blue Collars a page-turner that kept me up late into the night. Highly recommended!
—Steven Manchester, bestselling author of The Rockin’ Chair and Twelve Months
In Blue Collars, McLaughlin captures the full array of emotion from innocent joy and love to despair. On one page, Finn is playing blissfully at the beach with her father and siblings, on another she recalls the death of her best friend’s brother. The author breathes life into the characters; they are our neighbors in a vividly portrayed New England city in the midst of economic depression and changing values. But mostly, this is a story about a secret that gnaws at Finn throughout her childhood and adolescence – one that she believes would tear apart her tight-knit family. Like the hurricane dike protecting the harbor of this New England city, Finn builds a wall of silence to protect her family. But the specter of guilt and shame leaves its imprint on the young girl. A riveting read!
—Elizabeth Pimentel, essayist and freelance writer
From describing the family set-up in a triple-decker in the South End to the fun of Lincoln Park, Blue Collars is a compelling look-back to the time when factory jobs were plentiful, kids could roam free, and everyone knew their neighbors’ business. Yet, there is a dark side to this story – abuse, tenuous race relations, alcoholism, family arguments that turn violent. Through it all, the close-knit Irish-American family at the center of the book powers through with love and respect. I enjoyed it very much.
—Gail Roberts, library director of Joseph H. Plumb Memorial Library in Rochester, MA