Forgetting Tabitha

Forgetting Tabitha

3.81 (1,661 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days

When will my order arrive?

Available. Expected delivery to the United States in 8-11 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.
Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas


https: //

Raised on a farm, Tabitha Salt, the daughter of Irish immigrants, leads a bucolic and sheltered existence. When tragedy strikes the family, Tabitha and her mother are forced to move to the notorious Five Points District in New York City, known for its brothels, gangs, gambling halls, corrupt politicians and thieves. As they struggle to survive in their new living conditions, tragedy strikes again. Young Tabitha resorts to life alone on the streets of New York, dreaming of a happier future.

The Sisters of Charity are taking orphans off the streets with promises of a new life. Children are to forget their pasts; their religious beliefs, families, and names. They offer Tabitha a choice: stay in Five Points or board the orphan train and is go West in search of a new life.

The harrowing journey and the decision to leave everything behind launches Tabitha on a path from which she can never return.

Julie Dewey is a novelist residing in Central New York with her family. Her other works include The Back Building, One Thousand Porches, The Other Side of the Fence, and Cat (the Livin' Large Series). Visit Julie at to become a fan and get updates on new releases.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 282 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 16mm | 308g
  • English
  • 0578172313
  • 9780578172316

Review quote

KIRKUS REVIEW An epic tale of the interlocking paths of orphans struggling to survive in 19th-century New York. Tabitha Colleen Salt was born in 1850 on a farm in Westchester, New York, to loving parents. When her father died, her mother moved the two of them to New York City. They lived in the notorious Five Points District, known for its clamor, debauchery, and merciless gangs. Tabitha and her mother, Maura Anne Salt, manage to make ends meet, but Maura dies suddenly from dental surgery, and Tabitha is left to fend for herself. Not quite 11, she briefly lives under a stoop and makes fast friends with Scotty, already a hardened street kid. She moves to the Elizabeth Home for Girls and is sent westward by train as a part of a program to find suitable homes for orphans removed from the dangers and temptations of city life. Sister Agnes shows Tabitha great kindness, encourages her to forget her past, and rechristens her Mary. Mary cares for young orphan Edmund while on the train, and the two grow close like siblings. Mary and Edmund are adopted by families that live close to each other, and Mary quickly discovers that Scotty was adopted by a family nearby as well. Mary and Scotty eventually fall in love, while Edmund's affections are captured by Gert; she, too, is an orphan who, emulating her mother, turns to prostitution to survive. Author Dewey is an experienced novelist (The Other Side of the Fence, 2015, etc.), and her skill shines through her artful braiding of several complex narratives. While Mary is the protagonist, much of the plot unfurls from the perspectives of the other orphans. Dewey affectingly depicts the stranglehold the orphans' pasts exert over their present lives and the tenacity with which they embrace love and loyalty. Sometimes, the story takes a grim turn, but tragedy is never gratuitously introduced to this implausibly heartwarming novel. A vivid dramatization of the plight of orphans, both poignant and historically sound.
show more

Rating details

1,661 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 30% (492)
4 35% (585)
3 25% (408)
2 8% (130)
1 3% (46)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X