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When Molly Was a Harvey Girl Hardcover – January, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Because trains at the time didn't offer meal service, Frank Harvey had founded a chain of restaurants along the Santa Fe lines, offering good food and a hot meal at a reasonable price. The educated, respectable young women hired from all over the country were a key part of the "brand," and made waitressing into a respectable profession. Girls were paid a salary, provided with room and board, and subject to strict rules about behavior with the largely male customers, curfews, and uniforms. Most came for adventure--and to find a husband, too.
When Molly first sees the highly efficient Harvey girls at work, she's exhausted just by watching the waitress's "Herculean efforts." Molly muses that the young woman "accomplished more in a half hour than Molly had ever accomplished in a day." But soon both Molly and her sister are more than adequate as waitresses. Molly, though, still hopes to get back to Illinois, and develops a scheme to get her sister married to one of their customers, Mr. Latterly, a traveling salesman who admires her attractive sister.Read more ›
The sisters both got jobs, but their placement took them by surprise: they would have to move all the way from Streator, Illinois to Raton, New Mexico in order to work as Harvey girls along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway line. Molly resented leaving her old life behind, and even though she picked up the waitressing skills quickly, she devised a scheme to trick her sister into marrying a Chicago man so they could move back home. Little did Molly realize the danger in which that scheme would place the sisters and their new Harvey House friends.
Set in the late 1800s when outlaws stirred up trouble in the Wild West and the railroad provided a popular means of travel, this novel provides a fascinating glimpse of work life at a Harvey House, one of the first restaurant chains in this country. The book's substantive content has plenty of economics, with a focus on job search, training, and working conditions, all of which is expertly woven into a smart and enjoyable story.
Wendy C. Kasten, Ph.D.
Kent State UniversityLiving Literature: Using Children's Literature to Support Reading and Language Arts
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful story, particularly if you are interested in this area band period of Western history. Imaginative and entertaining; definitely recommended for young and old alike.Published on June 10, 2014 by AB
enjoyed this very much :D ... good for all ages .. a must read for those who are interested in this time period of historyPublished on October 22, 2013 by Rose Wilson
I originally bought this book for my daughter, but ended up reading it myself. She prefers to read fantasy not historical fiction. Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by Ramona Schlaegel