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"Hope dances in the darkness. . ."

"Cometh the hour, cometh the book. The Irish Milliner spans centuries to bring a topic as old as yesterday, as timely as to-morrow to our attention ---emigration. Neale's work, written with love and insight, reminds us that our neighbor is all mankind."

~Tim Pat Coogan, Irish broadcaster, journalist, writer and author of 1916 The Easter Rising, Michael Collins and The Famine Plot

"Make no mistake, although at times the language is breath-takingly lyrical, Cynthia Neale tells it like it was, grit and all." ~Deborah Swift, Author of The Lady's Slipper and The Gilded Lily


"Cynthia Neale's Pavlova in a Hat Box is a love letter disguised as a cookbook!" ~Margaret M. Johnson, Irish cookbook author

The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th-Century New York

As Norah McCabe tries to free herself from the limitations of poverty, gender, and class, she experiences corruption, exploitation, and enchant-ment in a city that is forever mythic and magical.

The Irish Dresser
A Story of Hope during The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mor 1845-1850)
By telling the story of one family's survival, this novel attempts to bring healing and understanding of the invisible scar of the Famine which lies deeply rooted in the Irish psyche.
The Irish Milliner
The Making of an Irish-American Woman in 19th Century New York. The Continuing Story of Norah

It is New York City and the Civil War is brewing. Norah McCabe, an Irish immigrant who escaped the Famine as a child, is now a young widow with a daughter. A milliner, struggling to survive in tumultuous times, Norah meets Abraham Lincoln, befriends the extraordinary African-American woman Elizabeth Jennings, and assists the Underground Railroad creating hats for runaway slaves.


Hope In New York City
The Continuing Story of the Irish Dresser
The sequel continues the saga of Nora McCabe and her family now dwelling in New York City where they encounter poverty and racism as Irish Catholics and immigrants.  

Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories and Desserts


Cynthia Neale’s Pavlova in a Hat Box, Sweet Memories and Desserts is a pithy collection of stories and meditations that have been wrested from a country childhood and a writing life. Accompanying these vignettes are classic and new sumptuous dessert recipes redolent of the comfort of old-fashioned fare, but with an organic twist. The cheerful and whimsical illustrations and art work by Maggie Martin are accented throughout the book and give heed to celebrate the simple and the  READ MORE

Cynthia Neale’s Pavlova in a Hat Box is a love letter disguised as a cookbook! Filled with heart-warming memories of her mother and her delicious confections, Ms. Neale’s book not only offers recipes and tips on baking tools and techniques, but also invites readers into her mother’s kitchen, a place always filled with warmth and love. Beautiful full color illustrations and images of old recipe cards punctuate the book and remind us that "recipes are like love notes that warm the heart of the baker"

          —Margaret M. Johnson, Irish cookbook author                                                                            READ MORE

CD to accompany the Pavlova book and your baking


Meditative piano music by Linn Brown, singer and songwriter

Other Works & Inspirations
Cynthia Neale around the web.

Click on an image below to take you to Cynthia's works and inspirations.


Catharine, Queen of the Tumbling Waters

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