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The Daring Ladies of Lowell Paperback – October 28, 2014
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Alcott (The Dressmaker, 2012) chooses another working-class girl as the heroine of her second historical novel. To Alice Barrow, a job at a textile mill in 1832 Lowell, Massachusetts, represents both an escape from her rural roots and a chance to forge an independent future. Although the hours are long and the work arduous, she enjoys the companionship of the mill girls and the opportunity to take advantage of the intellectual subculture of Lowell, including the mill’s literary magazine and lectures at the Lyceum. Alice’s common sense and intelligence attract the attention of Samuel Fiske, the mill owner’s son, who invites her to act as an emissary for her coworkers at a meeting with his family. However, when Alice’s best friend is found hanged, her burgeoning relationship with Samuel is threatened as his family withholds crucial evidence during the investigation. Set against an authentically detailed mill-town backdrop, this novel interweaves the industrial revolution, feminism, and workers’ rights into an engrossing narrative with a love story at its core. --Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
“A suspenseful, compelling tale of courageous young women fighting for justice.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
“Alice is cast in the mold of a character created by an earlier Alcott, the passionate and spunky Jo March. A refreshingly old-fashioned heroine.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Offers up a compelling slice of both feminist and Industrial Age history.” —Christian Science Monitor
“Both inspiring and thought-provoking…. Will keep the reader captivated for hours.” —The Free-Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA)
“Riveting. . . . In this book, and in real life, there’s no story—or change—if people don’t push the boundaries of what is acceptable, or give voice to uncomfortable truths.” —Huffington Post
“Alcott draws from dramatic events indelibly etched in history and offers a fresh perspective. . . . Alcott’s work will attract historical romance fans who will be entertained by the antics of the daring ladies who leave everything they know and embrace less-than-ideal conditions to gain their freedom.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“The carefully detailed life in the Massachusetts cotton mills gives Alcott’s latest a ring of authenticity. Add to this well-drawn characters, a sensational trial, a forbidden romance and a young woman’s struggle for independence and you have a compelling read. Alcott is a splendid storyteller who knows exactly how to capture reader attention with a perfect combination of history and romance.” —The Romantic Times
“Captures the spirit and courage of the young women who dared to work at factory jobs. Kate Alcott draws on the true story of a murdered mill girl for this captivating story of loyalty, friendship, and love—most of all, love.” —Sandra Dallas, author of Alice’s Tulips
“An engrossing narrative with a love story at its core.” —Booklist
“The Daring Ladies of Lowell are as complicated and flawed as any contemporary heroines, and they shine in this gripping 19th century tale about a small group of “factory girls” who refuse to be silenced when one of their own is murdered. . . . A nuanced gem of a novel about friendship, sacrifice, and love that will keep you turning its pages until the very end.” —Amy Brill, author of The Movement of Stars
“Will illuminate and satisfy.” —Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
I am very familiar with textile mills and the boarding houses. The Merrimack River Valley was a great area for the textile industry up until the mid 1950s. The mills served as central working areas for many of the populace in the cities from Worcester to Haverhill,Lawrence.Merrimack and Amesbury.
Growing up I was attuned to hearing stories of the mill workers. The quarters for the workers in the early days of the Industrial Age. The many boarding houses. Some of my ancestors worked in the textile mills in Lawrence and Lynn,Mass. I enjoyed reading about the working conditions and the strikes and the long working hours . Children of ages 12 and under were often working 10 to 12 hrs. Until child labor laws were established.I really enjoyed this book even though it was Fiction. It rang true of so many tales that have been spun from the early days of theTextile Industry . It was easy reading for me.
Girls came from farms to earn a living working at looms etc. There were so many large families that to support all from the farmlands was difficult. Women had to endure hardships and some were taken advantage of by bosses and overseers etc. It was not an easy life.
I felt proud of Alice as she took risks for herself and others, and found myself grieving her losses. Kate Walcott has an amazing ability to connect her readers to the characters.
I love this time period and I loved this book! I will now finally visit the Lowell Textile Museum and anxiously await her next book!
Although I live in the greater Lowell area, I could not envision the location of the boarding house in relation to the mill.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Daring Ladies of Lowell drew me in at first, promising an engrossing exploration of the tensions between the dreams of newly independent mill workers,...Read more