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Goodbye Wifes and Daughters Hardcover – March 1, 2010
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"Susan Resnick has done a marvelous and very difficult thing. Through her fine research and wonderful prose, she has captured the heart and soul of an American town that was brilliantly alive until the day a sudden disaster all but killed it. How that day came is a matter of documentation, but Resnick is far from satisfied with mere reporting on the life and death of a town. She has dug deep, as deep as the mine beneath Montana that is the centerpiece of this remarkable history. This is one of the best books I've ever read about mining and the strong, amazing, enduring people who do it."-Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys and October Sky (Homer Hickam 20090519)
With a compassionate voice, Resnick paints the picture of innocent, idyllic Bearcreek and its earnest residents as she builds up to the inevitable tragedy to come.Resnick's book celebrates the strength and dignity of these miners and their families. --In These Times
As I started reading Resnick's book I kept asking one question--Why am I not familiar with this disaster? And wondering one thought---Why does this kind of disaster keep happening? --The Missoulian
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Top Customer Reviews
This story also helps us understand how bad or delayed decisions, corners cut, and heartbreakingly slow bureaucracy led to the very tragic ending of 75 lives, the total uprooting of their families as they adjusted to life on their own, and the sad demise of a town with a lot of heart.
You will not regret buying this book. You won't be able to put it down.
A Reader's Opinion:
The summary gives an excellent description of what the book is about, so what you'll get is my opinion and my observations. I found this author because it was an honor book in the 2011 Montana Book Awards. At first I was curious about the misspelling in the title, but that mystery was solved once I read the book (and I'll admit, a tear or two later). Goodbye Wifes and Daughters is more than just a historical account of a horrible tragedy that could have been avoided. It is also a moving story of survival and enduring through terrible hardships.
I enjoyed the way the author told the story as though you're sitting in a comfortable room on a sofa listening to each survivor or family member talk about their side of what happened. What plans did they have for their futures? What were they doing months, weeks, or days before it happened? Where were they the moment they found out? These questions are answered by those who lived it - that's how the story is told. You'll find heroes in the women and children who came out the other side, many without their husbands, and how as the summary puts it, fought back and persevered.
A mining accident might not seem worthy of a story, after all the war was on and far greater tragedies were taking place, right? You just might feel differently after reading this book, because unlike war, this is a tragedy that could have been stopped and the author does great justice to the story and to the people who lived it.
I highly recommend this book for any reader and I look forward to visiting the site to learn more about the history.
My Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5
Fast forward to last week when I saw the interesting title Goodbye Wifes and Daughters in the local library. Imagine my surprise when I flipped through the book up and saw a photo of the Wakenshaw triplets' headstone. While I checked out the book to find out the history of those infants, the story of the town of Bearcreek and of the Smith Mining Disaster was too compelling to put down.
Ms. Resnick takes what could have been dry material and makes the story of the residents of Bearcreek come alive. Her work reflects what must have been painstaking research, and she uses the material she uncovered to breathe life into the town of Bearcreek before the disaster, the day that changed the world for the Smith mining families, and the recovery efforts and investigations that followed.
Many thanks to the author for this book. She has honored the memory of the town of Bearcreek by her thorough and thoughtful work. Like the flowers on the grave of the Wakenshaw triplets, Goodbye Wifes and Daughters is testament that the Smith Mine disaster, though long ago, has not been forgotten.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Goodbye Wifes and Daughters by Resnick_ Susan Kushner
Story of a Montana coal mining accident. They used to have parades, dances and everybody enjoyed the outside. Read more
detailed true story--tragic lives of coal miners during the 40'sPublished 16 months ago by mary anne lower
I lost several relatives. Was looking forward to the book and their story.
All that was mentioned was their names......
It's an ok read if you are looking for something to entertain you for a short time. I don't get into the whole reviewing the writing, is it good literature etc. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Maxgate
I just finished reading "Goodbye Wifes and Daughters"; it was one of five books that
I put aside for summer reading. I found the book to be very moving and sad. Read more
I can see why, when Susan Resnick stumbled across the story of this mining tragedy she felt compelled to write a book about it. Read morePublished on April 17, 2010 by N. Hall