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Lost Hardcover – April 1, 2009
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In fact, the content was such that I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for younger readers. The Triangle Shirtwaist fire is rather graphic and could be frightening, and there is a hint of content of another nature between the main character and a young gentleman living next door (a passionate kiss and Esther's thoughts while in bed).
A great read.
My grandparents immigrated to the U.S. at the turn of the century. I grew up in a mill town, with the stories of mill workers living in cold water flats in those wood framed tenement buildings. I heard of the poverty, extraordinary hardships, fierce sense of community, and gratitude for the opportunity to raise their families in this country of great opportunity. Living and working conditions were appalling yet the people had this consistent sense of pride and stolid work ethic. They endured.
In this novel, I could smell the laundry boiling on stoves, the borax used for scrubbing floors, the coal stoves, and horse manure in the streets. I could hear the sounds of children playing in the streets, train whistles, horse carts passing over cobble stone streets, and the noisy operations of looms, spindles and those early industrial sewing machines. I felt the sweltering heat, the airless nights and the extreme emotions of living, loving, grieving, hopelessness, and friendship. It remained true to times of small shops, street peddlers, unsafe working conditions, sub standard living, and the horrific tragedy at the Triangle shirtwaist factory in 1911.
I loved this book....