America promised to be a beacon of hope for desperate immigrants. It was a lie.
Ireland in 1887 was not a nice place to be if you were Irish. Across the ocean, America looks like a beacon of promise to the starving minds of immigrants from all over the world. But New York City is not the pot of gold they expected.
In the vein of Caleb Carr’s Alienist and The Gangs of New York, Ashes & Ice explores the violent underbelly of New York City in the late 1800s.
America’s first real slum, the Five Points neighbouring the Lower East Side, has defined the idea of an urban ghetto. Raucous, profane, Five Points has been a place of the poor, the immigrant and the hopeful. Home to squalid, lightless firetrap tenements, bars and bordellos, crooked politicians and a nascent police force, Five Points stands apart as unique in American history.
When Johnny Dorlan and Caitlin Walsh, two Irish immigrants, strangers to each other and this alien world, end up in Five Points their hope fades. The two strangers, an acerbic ten-year-old street Arab and an unusual horse must fight death, failure, and the Great White Hurricane of 1888 to grab their piece of the American dream.