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Mary Coin a Great American Story
on July 8, 2013
he book Mary Coin was a difficult one to read, not because the words or plot was complicated, but because the reality of the historical fiction story was devastating. I saw a review of the book in the newspaper, and what interested me was how the author choose to create a story based on a photograph taken during the great depression of a migrant worker and her children. I had used the picture many times when teaching 5th graders about the depression, never stopping to really think about the woman and her children. I never really wondered what happened to them. Marisa Silver creates imagery with her prose unlike many of today's authors. She has developed a realistic story of what could have happened to the woman in the famous picture. Although much of the story is made up, the wisdom of the words is breathtaking. Silvers writes "People always talked about the body betraying a person in illness, but Mary did not believe the body had intentions. It was just a thing that worked until it broke down." Marisa Silver has done a remarkable job with this very well written piece of literature. Much like Frank McCourt did with Angela's Ashes, the author tells a story about a time when we can't even imagine the hardships people were facing.