I whipped through this book and it was engrossing from page one. Awarded four stars on Goodreads.
It’s an absorbing story based around true events that took place in Lowell, MA in the first half of the 1800s. Like other books related to the Industrial Revolution, it has a romance between a poor mill worker and the son of the mill owner with disapproving parents. But it’s not nearly as predictable as you might expect.
One of the aspects I liked best was watching the evolution of the characters as they become more mature in their thinking, pondering how to balance the business pressures of the mill owner against the safety and conditions of the workers. What compromises are reasonable? What constitutes morality? And what happens to the justice system when powerful people try to control It?
This is creative historical fiction at its best and offers the reader an understanding of the origins of the labor movement in the US.
More about the author, Kate Alcott.
You may also be interested in my review of another novel by Kate Alcott, A Touch of Stardust.