When Diane submitted this manuscript to me with a view to publication, I simply couldn’t stop reading it. Ivy is a strong character, easy to relate to, who develops even greater strength as the story progresses. I found that I cared deeply about her and her brother. The story revealed something I never knew about American history – that not every white person went to America willingly. For all these reasons, I knew immediately that this was a story I wanted to publish.
Not every immigrant sailed willingly to America…
Ivy O’Neill’s idyllic childhood ends in disaster in 1690 when red-coated soldiers cross the Celtic Sea to invade Ireland. While the O’Neill family struggles to survive on the Irish coast, George Stokely is building a life in the British Colony of Maryland. All he needs to make his Chesapeake tobacco farm thrive is more help. The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill is an immersive story of courage, the meaning of family, and the transformative power of immigration.
Reviews for The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill by Diane Helentjaris is a fine work of historical fiction that brings American colonial history to colorful life, warts and all. She gives voice to those who, like the African slaves, have been left off the pages of the history books, but whose labors are what truly built the nation. I found this book a riveting read.”
—Charles Ray, author.
“This historical novel is a one-sit read. Settle down for a good read without a care in the world beyond the Irish lass, Ivy O’Neill, as she becomes an indentured servant in the New World.”
—Lenora Rain-Lee Good, author, The Bride’s Gate and Other Assorted Writings
“A fun, engrossing read recounted in lovely language and imagery. Helentjaris presents a picture of Colonial Maryland tobacco plantation life and the gruelling hardships of a young woman trying to navigate a life she did not choose.”
—Marcella Fierro, MD.
The Indenture of Ivy O’Neill by Diane Helentjaris is a well-written historical novel. In 1690 Ireland, British soldiers come and turn Ivy O’Neill’s life upside down. The author has researched this period well and captured the essence of Ireland and Maryland with fine details, painting a realistic world filled with adventure, danger, and love. I loved the ending and didn’t want this story to end. I highly recommend this masterfully written story! Five out of five stars!
—Patty Apostolides, MFA, Author and Director HWGW.
About the Author
Diane Helentjaris’s writing celebrates the lives of the overlooked and unsung. She has published multiple magazine articles and a book of poems called Diaspora. Her work appears in the bilingual Greek and English anthology Glimpses of Our World and the short story international anthology Strife & Harmony. She was a 2020 finalist in the Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award. She has a BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities, a Medical Doctor degree, and a Master’s in Public Health. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband, son, and spaniel.