HISTORICAL FICTION ADVENTURE DRAMA
MISOGYNY IN A CAPITALIST SOCIETY.
THE IMMIGRANT, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, GANGS OF NEW YORK
MOLLY: 18. LEAD. INTELLIGENT, VULNERABLE, STRONG, HOPEFUL, DETERMINED.
ELLEN: TODDLER. ADOPTED CHILD.
FRANK LYNCH: 40S. POLICEMAN. FATHER FIGURE.
LIZA: 19/20. FELLOW PROSTITUTE/ANTAGONIST.
MISS CECILIA: 40S. BROTHER OWNER. BOSS/ANTAGONIST.
PATRICK MCMAHON: MID-20S. FIREFIGHTER. LOVER.
A young immigrant woman arrives in Civil War era New York expecting to build a new life. When traffickers force her into prostitution, and with the city descending into chaos, she must save herself before she can save a child from a terrible fate.
Target Gender: Female Leaning
County Galway, Ireland; New York City; New Orleans (1862-1864)
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: with a Publisher
Publisher: Fireship Press
Year Published: July 29, 2021
After an altercation with the son of an English landlord, 18 year old Molly O'Sullivan is sent to New York City. While crossing the Atlantic, sickness breaks out aboard the Dublin Rose and Molly finds herself responsible for a four year old girl whose family perished.
Arriving in New York, Molly learns that her aunt and uncle died in a fire. Cast adrift in an unfamiliar city, and with a child to care for, Molly has no choice but to trust a friendly face with disastrous results.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Plot - Other Elements
Meaningful Message,Coming of Age
Plot - Premise
Overcoming Monster/Villain,Internal Journey/Rebirth
Main Character Details
Name: Molly O'Sullivan
Key Traits: Underdog,Blunt,Sarcastic,Strong Moral Code,Decisive,Badass
Additional Character Details
Name: Frank Lynch
Age: Late 20s
Key Traits: Aggressive,Secretive,Skillful
Additional Character Details
Name: Doctor Howard
Key Traits: Empathetic,Gracious,Educated,Honorable,Skillful
Additional Character Details
Name: Miss Cecilia Pearl
Key Traits: Aggressive,Villainous,Secretive,Manipulative
A young immigrant woman falls victim to sex traffickers and fights to maintain her dignity and humanity amid the dehumanizing world of forced prostitution. It is a story ripped from the headlines....in 1862. Molly O'Sullivan is a strong female character who knows how to fight for what she wants. Despite all of the terrible challenges life throws her way, she perseveres. Her character is one that viewers will identify with and is strong enough to carry the storyline through a potential series. The story touches on topics that are just as relevant today as they were in the era in which the story is set. Immigration. Human trafficking. Nativism. Civil Unrest. Racism. These issues are timeless, and Molly confronts all of them over the course of the book. Molly's Song is the first in a three book series which will see her travel through the American West and eventually back to Ireland. Her story will appeal to those who like tough, independent female characters. Think Claire Fraser meets Demelza Poldark. Given the amount of material in the first book, it could make two seasons of six or eight episode, especially if the lives of some of the side characters, such as Frank Lynch, are explored. Human trafficking is a hot button issue right now, and this series not only explores that world in its historical context, but also has something to say about the issue today.
ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, DRAMA, WAR, THRILLER
A young Irish woman arrives in Civil War-era New York hoping to build a better life. When traffickers force her into prostitution, she must adapt to this terrible situation or die before she finds a way out.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Draw of Story
The author's writing is vivid and effective and couples with his in-depth knowledge of history to portray an incredibly detailed 1860s New York that is so visceral it transports the reader there scene by scene. The young female immigrant protagonist, Molly, is one we rarely see and is a massive credit to the book, along with its themes of female (dis)empowerment, misogyny, human trafficking, and class struggle. The series of tragedies that befall young Molly are powerful in execution, each one pushing her to further evolve into the toughened, street-smart woman she becomes by story's end. We care deeply about Molly, who from the beginning views the man's world around her with a sharp eye, seeing its many hypocrisies and failings clearly, and through her we experience 1860s New York, like Molly, for the first time. The result is an emotionally affecting, often thrilling, tale.
The biggest issue with this story is how long it is; if it were heavily condensed it could be an astonishingly great read. As well as this, the story's ending betrays everything that comes before--the book is in no uncertain terms a tragedy, a series of terrible events as the society Molly finds herself in refuses to see her as anything more than a prostitute, but the ending conveniently allows for a happy ending that the story has not earned nor requires.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
A story about a young immigrant woman coming to New York in the 1860s in search of a better life only to find herself plunged into a life of sexual slavery is harrowing but necessary. This is the kind of film we don't see today, the kind of film that's missing, and, if done right--and this is key, as it is all too easy to make a misstep with such delicate subject matter--this story could be a powerful, feminist indictment of the patriarchy, human trafficking, capitalism, and far-right rhetoric.
Realistically the fanbase for a period piece such as this can only be so large. It will never attain the popularity of a mega-blockbuster, but if made exceptionally well it could receive much critical acclaim and do well in awards and find a large audience over time.
This is certainly the kind of film that tends to do very well within the awards community.
Similar Films/TV Series
THE IMMIGRANT, MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA, GANGS OF NEW YORK
What’s New About the Story
Most qualities of the story are quite original, including the premise, protagonist, story world, and the ways in which the story explores its themes. The unoriginal elements are those that find their way in as tropes of certain genres--the scenes we've all seen before--which in this story aren't really required. The story would be served well by a deep edit to condense it by 30-40% an in doing so could shed these unoriginal elements.
Molly is sharply intelligent, witty in a cynical manner well suited to the story, never loses hope, confident yet vulnerable, strong yet fragile--in other words, she is complex. The remaining characters are not nearly as complex as Molly and this is a problem with the story; there are also too many characters. Less of them would allow each to stand out more.
Uniqueness of Story
This is very nearly a rare gem. It needs to be hugely condensed; the ending which cheapens the story should be rewritten (and with a careful focus to not allow contrived events to conveniently wrap up the plot); and the characters who aren't Molly need more depth.
Film: Studio, Indie, Streaming
It's a great story with a unique premise and protagonist, fascinating, richly drawn story world, and complex themes that are relevant to today.
A young Irish woman arrives in Civil War-era New York City hoping to find a better life. When traffickers force her into prostitution, she must adapt to this terrible situation or die before she finds a way out.
What We Liked
The author's writing is vivid and effective and couples with his in-depth knowledge of history to portray an incredibly detailed 1860s New York City that is so visceral it transports the reader there scene by scene. The young female immigrant protagonist, Molly, is one we rarely see--a massive credit to the book, along with its themes of female (dis)empowerment, misogyny, human trafficking, and class struggle. The series of tragedies that befall young Molly are powerful in execution, each one pushing her to further evolve into the toughened, street-smart woman she becomes by story's end, and in this way the story showcases a textbook example of a strong character arc. We care deeply about Molly, who from the beginning views the man's world around her with a sharp eye, seeing its many hypocrisies and failings clearly, and through her we experience 1860s New York, like Molly, for the first time, though it chillingly mirrors our own. The result is an emotionally affecting, often thrilling, tale that a diverse modern audience will flock to see in theaters and leave feeling electrified and transformed.
Film: A film adaptation is perhaps the most effective method by which to take this story to screen. Molly's arc as protagonist is an incredibly powerful hero's journey which sees her grow from a slightly naïve, vulnerable girl abused by the patriarchy to a toughened, street-smart woman who will never again let any man lay a hand to her. With a decent budget, a film adaptation could wow audiences with spectacular set design, costumes and makeup, and would attract big-name actors eager to star in a film of such scope and magnitude. With the right script, cast and crew to effectively bring out its complex themes of misogyny, immigration, capitalism, and class struggle, a film adaptation of MOLLY'S SONG could find itself nominated or even winning major awards, thus cementing its status as a movie to watch for years to come.
TV: This could make a great TV adaptation because of how detailed the author has portrayed the story world. Civil War-era New York City comes alive on the page and the many minor characters and situations we meet along the way hold within them the potential for many subplots and digressions that would leave viewers hooked week after week as the episodes advance to the season's end. The show would be focused around the brothel where Molly is forced to work and would follow as its main cast along with Molly the other girls working there, the brothel owner, regular clients, and other familiar faces in the immediate and near environment, while the overarching plot and various subplots would extend episode to episode.
1) Excellent premise
2) Complex, unique protagonist
3) Fascinating, richly detailed story world
4) Moving, affecting, inspiring story
5) A nice balance of drama and thrills
1862: 18-year-old MOLLY O’SULLIVAN immigrates to New York City from Ireland in search of a better life. On the voyage, many die of sickness including the parents of young toddler ELLEN, who Molly adopts. Molly and Ellen arrive in New York City but on the first night Ellen is kidnapped from Molly’s room while Molly is raped. Molly is quickly trafficked into sexual slavery and works in a brothel while hoping to one day find Ellen again. After many months, Molly meeting friends and enemies along the way, she is framed for a murder she did not commit and sentenced to hang. A friend helps her find passage to New Orleans where she works as a prostitute and also a singer, hoping to transition into singing only, until one day a friend in New York locates Ellen. Molly returns to New York and rescues Ellen and they travel to California together in search of a better life.