Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Wave From Mama by A. Robert Allen


A former slave gets his dream job building the Brooklyn Bridge, but finds himself at war with the gangs of Irishtown. Will the corrupt Metropolitan Police save or sacrifice him?

1863 Weeksville, Brooklyn: The free Black community of Weeksville becomes home to an unusually small boy and his mother who fled Manhattan during New York’s Draft Riots. When his mother succumbs to her injuries, the boy swears revenge against everyone and everything that contributed to her death. His diminutive size and acrobatic climbing abilities make him a spectacle to behold, while his awkward social habits make him an outcast to everyone in Weeksville, except the adopted family he swears to protect.

When his stepbrother is attacked, the boy becomes embroiled in a battle between the Irish Gangs and Whiskey Kings of Irishtown while the corrupt Metropolitan Police sit on the sidelines. The backdrop of the action is the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the racial tensions of the period.

Will the boy survive the ordeals of the day and achieve his dream of being a high-flying tower man on the bridge project? Or, will he become another victim of the Irish gangs and never know the joy of standing atop the tallest structure in North America?

About the Author:

A. Robert Allen is a long-time resident of New York City and a higher education professional. A Wave From Mama is his second novel of historical fiction and Volume Two in his series, Slavery and Beyond. The impetus for the first volume, Failed Moments, was his personal genealogical research which traced his family tree back hundreds of years and uncovered roots that were White, Black, Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. Failed Moments is a fictional account of his ancestors in 1790 during the slave revolution in what would become Haiti, and later in 1863 during New York’s Draft Riots. Find out more about the author and his works at his website:


Venture Simmons is a deformed child—short for his age, but with long arms, he looks more simian than human. He and his mother escape slavery, only to meet brutality on the streets of Manhattan. They escape to the free black community of Weeksville, Brooklyn, before his mother succumbs to her wounds. Having witnessed his mother’s assault, Vent vows to kill those responsible. However, he’s so traumatized, he thinks everyone is—until he meets a man named Moses who corrals him and turns him over to the Washingtons, who adopt him. Today, we would probably call Vent autistic. Or maybe it’s all just post-traumatic stress. But he’s a genius with math and a natural acrobat. And when they announce plans to build the Brooklyn Bridge, he wants to become a tower man, swinging from the heights of the structure, rigging the steel cables. Unfortunately, he falls afoul of the Irish gangs and the Whiskey Kings.

A Wave From Mama was yet another original plot with deeply-drawn characters by A. Robert Allen. We see the world through the eyes of a traumatized child who speaks to his departed mother, and recites his multiplication tables (well past those I learned) when he’s upset and needs to calm down. We watch him heal, develop, and grow. We also see the inner workings of the Irish gangs, the Whiskey Kings, the New York Police, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. A Wave From Mama is a fascinating page-burner, and I highly recommend it.

Author Website:
Warnings:  Violence
Length:  246 Pages
Print:  $9.99
Digital:  $4.99

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