Hi, everyone. Not only do I enjoy writing historical fiction, but I am also an avid reader. This week, I thought I’d share a review of a book that I truly enjoyed. Check it out at your local library or pick it up from your favorite bookseller if you are intrigued.
Alice Barrow leaves her farm life, and an abusive father, to become a mill girl in Lowell, MA, during the 19th Century. There, she befriends Sarah “Lovey” Cornell and enters into a life that is both more free and more difficult than she imagined.
The mill is owned by the Fiske family; wealthy industrialists, they all benefit from the hard work of their underpaid employees. The eldest son, Samuel, is more reform-minded than the rest of the family. Through a number of circumstances, he befriends Alice … and before long, it feels as though their relationship is blooming into something more.
And then Lovey is found, hanged, in a farmyard.
Based on actual events, and employing sections of trial transcripts from the murder of a Lowell mill girl during the time period, Kate Alcott has create a book that is filled with believable characters and descriptions of employment situations that would give people pause at a minimum. Those situations are what led to many of the labor reforms, via the then-new unions, that we consider commonplace today but that were quite novel at the time.
I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction and those who are interested in women’s roles throughout history.