Beyond the Western Sea: The Escape from Home, by Avi, is the first book in a series about the characters Patrick O’Connell, Maura O’Connell, Laurence Kirkle, and many more characters. Maura and her brother Patrick both think it is time to leave Ireland and start anew in America, so they go to Liverpool to catch a ship. There they meet Laurence, a boy who ran away from home to get out of his brother’s shadow. All of them learn that words are easier then actions.
Mr. O’Connell had gone to America some time before, leaving his wife and two children, Patrick and Maura, in Ireland. When the O’Connell family receives a package of money from their father, there is a note begging them to come to America and join him. Because their house is going to be demolished, they don’t have much choice and start the journey to Liverpool, where they can take a boat to America. When they are about to get on the boat to go to Liverpool, Mrs. O’Connell decides that she would rather stay in Ireland, and leaves Maura and Patrick to find their way to America by themselves.
Laurence Kirkle was born into a very rich family, but because of the fact that he was born second, his older brother is the one who will inherit the Kirkle empire. Laurence is tired of his brother bossing him around so he decides to head for America. Laurence has almost all his money stolen and barely makes it to Liverpool. Since he has no ticket to get on the boat, Patrick and Maura help him to stow away.
The book ends with all three children on the boat to America. Laurence, Maura, and Patrick all learn that just because you say you can do something doesn’t mean it will be easy. In conclusion, I thought it was a good book, but if I hadn’t needed to read it I wouldn’t have because I thought the beginning was not very good.