Michael Rourke, the Ladies' Man by Nancy Lane
Nancy Lane tells the life story of a hard working Irish immigrant in America at the turn of the last century. New York City, 1897
Michael dropped his duffel bag to the dusty floor. “No, no, you scrawny kid, you’re not bunking in this room. Adult men, Americans, stay in this room. You belong in the basement with the Italian boys,” Mrs. Arnold snarled. “They all look alike. But you’ll stand out with them blue eyes. You best be stronger than you look so you can do the work I tell you. You can’t live here free. You’ll pay me with work and sweat ’til you have coin in your pocket from the bakery. Miller’s gonna work you harder than me. You best be happy now ’cause you won’t be too happy next week.”
Michael Rourke was small but smart, having earned a university degree in accounting in Dublin at age seventeen. Post-Potato Famine Ireland was still in deep economic depression. Michael’s father wanted his only son to find the prosperity and happiness found by others who had emigrated.