Boston 1868…Two young Irish women immigrate to work as domestics (kitchen canaries) for the Brennan family. They soon become entangled in their secrets and lies. They suffer violation and humiliation at the hands of their employer, and hide their shame even from each other. They each carry the guilt of their lost virginity and the fear of the fate they will face if their secret is exposed. In four years, Katie O’Neil and Moira Murphy experience the good and evil of others, love, despair and redemption as they pursue their dream of an American life.
Kitchen Canary is a debut novel for Joanne Parsons. She fictionalized her grandfather’s birth story. He was the son of the Irish domestic and the master of the house.
Joanne wrote Kitchen Canary after retiring and being widowed in the span of eighteen months. “Researching and creating the characters was an escape from my grief and loneliness.”
The book has received high praise from readers and reviewers. “I wrote the sequel, ‘Through the Open Door’ at the urging of readers. They wanted to know how the characters prevailed. It will be out at the end of the summer.”
Joanne has remarried and lives on a pond on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. “It gets a little too busy to write in the summer months when my three grandsons visit. They keep my quite busy.”