The Oystercatcher of Southwark by Erica Colahan

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1897/Present – Pennsylvania

On the shores of the Delaware River, Italian Catholic Mary Paragano dreams of a happily ever after. However, when she defies her family and runs away to marry Jakob, a Jewish boy, her fairy tale takes an unexpected turn. Disowned by her father, abandoned by Jakob, and pursued by a jealous gangster, Mary’s life spirals into tragedy, culminating in accusations of attempting to harm her own children and a harrowing end in an asylum.

Philadelphia, present day—Bella, Mary’s great-great-granddaughter, grapples with the aftermath of her recent divorce. Amidst her pain, a mysterious stranger named Sophie enters her life, claiming to be related to Jakob, the man who left Mary to her devastating fate over a century ago. Together, Bella and Sophie unravel the layers of Mary’s haunting past, question the stories they’ve been told, and uncover the impact of these historical secrets on their modern-day lives.