Sean and Patrick McConaghy are two young cousins who set sail from their native Ireland on St. Patrick's Day, 1820. After a long and eventful crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, they tackle the mighty St. Lawrence River in an open voyageur canoe to settle in a part of the wilderness of Upper Canada that would later become York Region.
Along the way, they unexpectedly discover their emotional and physical love for one another - a relationship that at the same time was regarded as a Capital offence.
From that moment onward they are not only challenged by the daunting task of carving a homestead out of the vast, primeval forest, but also the ever present danger of living as a devoted couple in a situation where the possibilities of humiliation and death almost certainly await them if their secret should be discovered.
With this novel, Gerry Burnie, historian and first-time novelist, has crafted a story about pioneering in the rugged Canadian wilderness that is bound to challenge any previous concept of it.
Recipient of both the prestigious iUniverse Editor's Choice and Publisher's Choice awards, the
Two Irish Lads
is a wonderfully refreshing novel about a subject that would be controversial even if it were set sometime in the past thirty years.
Gerry Burnie's expert understanding of pioneer life is also evident throughout.
From every standpoint-whether it is the young lovers' struggle to overcome the various challenges that confront them; a refreshing look at a romantic era from a new and distinctive perspective; or as a well-researched account of pioneer life, it is a novel well worth consideration.