So here you have two parentless Irish immigrant kids arriving in a new country, a run-away slave seeking freedom, and a California gold mining man from China. All looking for a new life or hopefully new opportunities in the expanding land called America. Experiencing both success and hardship. Some traveling on, working for, or investing in the new steam engine driven transcontinental railroad. Newly laid wooden ties, spikes and iron rails spanning across America and ready for the great iron horse followed by the passenger car.
Then fast forward four or five generations to the present. Their descendants still experiencing successes and hardships. Eventually all the descendants riding separately and unknown to the other all aboard a modern express train to their new destiny.
The book: Small World by Jonathan Evison Historical Fiction
Here is the Library of Congress annotation:
In the 1850s, a group travels across the country via train, including a pair of Irish orphans, a runaway slave, and an immigrant from China. In 2019, descendants of those early travelers board another transcontinental train, seeking their own version of the American Dream.
Again, the book is ‘Small World’ by Jonathan Evison, historical fiction 2022
Individual’s stories covering the present then flashback to the early family ancestries. Leaving the reader thinking “It couldn’t get any worse than this.” However, some tragedies eventually turn into an unexpected celebration. Read it. You’ll like it.