Longing for Home
Irena, the main character in Lisa Wayman’s debut work of fiction, Longing for Home, is living a variation of the same experience that countless thousands of immigrants to America had in the 19th century: she’s traveled a great distance in order to reach America and possibly secure for herself a better life than she would have had back in Europe.
Irena comes to Ellis Island in 1892 from Slovenia with 25 American dollars and the prospect of marrying a family friend in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Wayman elaborates that tenuous connection into a series of mishaps and adventures that present not only a well-drawn portrait of Irena, but also a well-researched view of the immigrant experience during its 19th-century heyday.
Very human, very involving reading.