Jonatha Ceely
MINA: Chapter I
Bread and Dreams
Bread and Dreams: Part One

Sleeping Woman by S. Leizen-Meyer/Getty Images//Design by J.S. W. Youll

SEPTEMBER 27, 2005
NOVEMBER 28, 2006

A stirring love story brimming with the sounds, sights, and flavors of nineteenth century New York, BREAD AND DREAMS is Jonatha Ceely's second novel featuring her indelibly drawn heroine from her critically acclaimed debut, Mina. The year is 1848. Mina, the young Irish immigrant, disembarks from the English ship Victoria with her protector, the master chef Mr. Serle, and enters New York City seeking work and her lost brother. The city is bustling, treacherous and exotic. Serle finds work as a cook in a hotel and Mina in the kitchen of the wealthy Westervelt family. As she navigates the hidden affairs and powerful secrets of this New York family, Mina's feelings for the mysterious Mr. Serle shift and a remarkable series of events unfold. An extraordinary adventure takes Mina far from New York and brings her a sudden, surprising change of heart and an unexpected and life changing gift. From the gas-lit streets of old New York to the cargo-crowded waterways of the Erie Canal, from one man fighting a personal battle of faith to another scarred by war, BREAD AND DREAMS is filled with marvelously drawn characters and vivid images. It is a feast for the senses, a balm for the soul, and at its center, a tender and beautiful novel.

Delta Trade Paperback: Cover photo copyright Jane Tenneson


"America is often described as a melting pot. But what heat and what motion are necessary for this alchemy? How are its component parts softened enough to meld? These are the questions Brookline author Jonatha Ceely asks in "Bread and Dreams," a sensitive and elegant historical novel that takes on a young Irish woman, a bereaved Roman Jew, and sundry others--including an escaped slave, a mutilated veteran, and a fine, old Dutch family--and watches them build a new world in New York in 1848 . . . "Bread and Dreams" uses the language of the period--sometimes slightly stilted, often lyrical with its personal revelations--to illuminate these characters and chronicle a time of social upheaval . . . Embracing change, and learning from it, Mina Pigot becomes a heroine for a New World." Clea Simon for The Boston Globe

"Framed as a diary found when homeowners remodel their country house, the Irish girl Mina Pigot's story continues in this delicious sequel to Ceely's Mina . . . Combining all the wonder and promise of Belva Plain's immigrant stories with the sensual literary quality of Joanne Harris' Chocolate, Ceely's tale of a blossoming Irishwoman defying convention as she pursues her dreams captures the poignancy of love in the face of religious opposition and class and racial tensions." Jennifer Baker for Booklist

"This amazing book was impossible to put down . . . Beautifully written . . . Start your autumn reading off with BREAD AND DREAMS. You won't regret it." Jani Brooks for Romance Reviews Today.

"This story sings . . . Nothing is sensationalized . . . Jonatha Ceely tackles serious topics with style and grace . . . This is one book I will read again and recommend to anyone who seeks a good story." Wendall Sexton for www.roundtablereviews

"Far from a soppy romance, this well-written novel has believable characters and situations, and does an excellent job of portraying the life of the period. Filled with slave catchers, gold seekers, immigrants and class consciousness, "Bread and Dreams" brings a most satisfactory conclusion to the story begun with "Mina" and creates a character the reader will be glad to have met." Jane Davis for The Decatur Daily

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