Voyage of Dreams by Kathleen E. Fearing


It is 1903 Ireland. Sixteen-year-old Tess has a dream. Music fills her boundless spirit, and she longs to fill her life with it. But the harsh realities of farm life and taking care of her younger siblings makes the dream unlikely.

Then, one day, in the wake of a horrible tragedy, Tess is forced to make a decision that may make her dream come true.

The Voyage of Dreams: An Irish Memory

by Kathleen E. Fearing

ISBN: 978-0-9847836-6-3

Price: $15.00 plus shipping and tax (if applicable)

158 pages



Kathleen is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), The Knoxville Writer’s Guild, and the Tennessee Mountain Writers Association. She has a doctorate in education and taught children’s literature, as well as other courses at various colleges in western Massachusetts, including the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She reviewed newly published children’s books for newspapers and radio stations for many years. As a radio producer, her children’s radio programs won first and second place awards from the Massachusetts Broadcasters Association. Kathleen has three children and three grandchildren, and lives in Norris with her husband Ed.

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"As I read Voyage of Dreams, I feel a deep ache in the pit of my stomach, for Fearing’s dialog vividly captures the pain I felt leaving Ireland in 1974. How can that be?

The answer is: I experienced many of the emotions attributed to Tess and her family. There was uncertainty—not knowing what I would find. Would I get work? Would I adapt to a different culture? Would I see my family again?

There was guilt. My pain was nothing to that experienced by my family, for whatever my trepidation, the feeling of loss and separation is greater for those left behind. Like Ann Doherty, my mother had a real fear she might never see me again. At age seventeen, her sister had immigrated to Canada in 1910. My mother never saw her again. Four years later her sister died from tuberculosis.

Ironically, it was my own exile that provided the impetus for my mother to visit Canada in 1976 and the opportunity for her to place fresh flowers on her sister’s grave. For Fearing, the fiction of Voyage of Dreams so aptly captures what for others is a true Irish memory."

--James B. Johnston, author of Exile Revisited (2012).

"Voyage of Dreams by Kathleen Fearing, the story of Tess Doherty, is an odyssey of love, pain, fear, sadness and hope. Young teens will identify with Tess's struggle to find, recognize and live her dream. In addition, Voyage of Dreams is an excellent resource for high level English language learners, both teenaged and adult. Poetically written with the lyric dialect of the Irish, Voyage of Dreams should be required reading for all teenagers and all those who have ever dreamed of more."

- Linda M. Rhinehart Neas, M.Ed., author and poet.

"The harsh but sometimes joyful realities of life in Ireland in the early 1900s are vividly portrayed in Kathleen Fearing's Voyage of Dreams, a poignant coming of age story sure to inspire young readers and adults alike."

-- Liz McGeachy, Center Director of Appalachian Arts Craft Center

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