In May 1653, young Frederica (Freddy) O’Brennan and her sister Aileen trust a stranger on an empty beach in western Ireland, inadvertently placing themselves in the crosshairs of Cromwell’s notorious Reign of Terror.
Freddy awakens in the cramped hold of a slave ship bound for Barbados. Ripped from their loved ones, she and Aileen endure the voyage – only to be wrenched apart when purchased at auction by sugar plantation owners from different islands. Alone, Freddy faces the brutal realities of life as a female Irish slave on a seventeenth century Barbados sugar plantation. Amidst the island’s treacherous beauty, she must find a way to bear her cruel, drunken Master’s abuse.
Heartsick with yearning for her family, Freddy must reach deep inside herself for the strength she needs to protect her young spirit from being broken. As she struggles to survive rape, degradation, beatings, and the harrowing spectacle of her Irish countrymen being flogged and starved to death, she is buoyed by powerful friendships with her fellow slaves – especially the Native American kitchen slave with whom she works long hours in the plantation cookhouse. The two women risk severe punishment by sneaking food and medicine to the suffering Irish and African field slaves.
Eventually Freddy braves much more for the sake of love and loyal friendship.
Spirited Away – A Novel of the Stolen Irish is a 60,000-word historical novel that paints an intimate portrait of 1650s Irish slavery in the Caribbean.
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