Life in Boston in 1889 isn’t easy. Especially for two boys with no family and no home. Charles has been on his own for two years, living on the streets and resorting to petty crimes to stay alive. Aidan’s mother can’t stay sober, leaving him to provide for her and his sister. Together, he and Charles are better off than alone. But when a simple robbery goes bad, they have no choice but to leave the city if they are to escape arrest.
So they con their way onto the Boston Farm School, located a mile out in the Boston Harbor. But the superintendent is intent on keeping the bad element out of his school, so Charles and Aidan must keep their secrets, or risk expulsion and jail time. Soon their friendship starts to fall apart under the strain, as the truth becomes harder to hide.
The Island of Worthy Boys explores the harder side of life in Boston at the turn of the last century. It isn’t glitzy or glamorous, but hard and dangerous. The bond that grows between Charles and Aidan is strong and touching, and their experiences in the city are horrifying, but their friendship gives them something to fall back on as their lives take a dramatic change.
(Galley provided by She Writes Press via NetGalley.)