The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill

Written by Diane Helentjaris
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

Ivy’s life has not been easy. The British burned her family’s home, and the family was forced to start life over in relative poverty. Then Ivy and her brother Sean are kidnapped and brought to America, where their indenture is sold to two Maryland planters. At age eighteen, she finds herself an indentured servant in the Maryland colony. Ivy begins at once to scheme how she will be able to escape back to Ireland.

As the months go by, Ivy slowly becomes attached emotionally to her host family. Still, when she is accused of murder, Ivy realizes she might very well be at the mercy of the Maryland court system, even though she is innocent. And who will vouch for her?

This a delightful account of one Irish girl who, in 1700, gets kidnapped with her brother on the docks of Ireland by an unscrupulous English ship’s captain and brought to America against her will. The novel has good historical accuracy with impressionable characters that carry the plot forward. It is written with rich, descriptive language that makes the reader feel as if they are right there, which complements the story’s pacing. Other than the lack of a map or two, this novel is thoroughly enjoyable.