by Erica Colahan-Ruggieri
More than 125 years have passed, and MARY PARAGANO’s tragic voice has been silenced by history—until her great-granddaughter, BELLA, and a stranger named SOPHIE discover their family connection and finally unearth Mary’s story.
Philadelphia, 1897—Disowned by her Catholic father, abandoned by her husband, JAKOB, and pursued by a jealous gangster, Mary tries to protect her children, only to be torn away from them and committed to an insane asylum. This tragedy will affect her family for generations.
Philadelphia, present-day—Bella struggles through an identity crisis and will do anything to avoid the pain of her recent divorce. Sophie is hunting for the missing girls torn from her Jewish family decades before and believes Bella to be the ancestor of one of the girls. Together, the women discover historical documents that unveil the truth of their family’s ill-fated roots. The more information the women find, the more they realize that things are not always what they seem. Was Jakob a scoundrel, and Mary insane? Or does the truth lie somewhere in between?
Based on actual events of the author’s own family, THE OYSTERCATCHER OF SOUTHWARK is a journey through the immigrant neighborhoods of South Philadelphia, revealing the intensity of a mother’s love, the unbreakable bond of female friendships, and the redemptive hope of a loving God.