The Daring Ladies of Lowell

The Daring Ladies of Lowell

A Novel

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
6
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"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, she makes THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL appealing"
--The New York Times Book Review

"Offers up a compelling slice of both feminist and Industrial Age history"-- Christian Science Monitor


From the New York Times bestselling author of THE DRESSMAKER comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to the looms of Lowell, Massachusetts--and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.
 
Eager to escape life on her family's farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of "the mill girls."  In spite of the long hours, she discovers a vibrant new life and a true friend--a saucy, strong-willed girl name Lovey Cornell.
 
But conditions at the factory become increasingly dangerous, and Alice finds the courage to represent the workers and their grievances.  Although mill owner, Hiram Fiske, pays no heed, Alice attracts the attention of his eldest son, the handsome and reserved Samuel Fiske. Their mutual attraction is intense, tempting Alice to dream of a different future for herself.
 
This dream is shattered when Lovey is found strangled to death. A sensational trial follows, bringing all the unrest that's brewing to the surface. Alice finds herself torn between her commitment to the girls in the mill and her blossoming relationship with Samuel.  Based on the actual murder of a mill girl and the subsequent trial in 1833, THE DARING LADIES OF LOWELL brilliantly captures a transitional moment in America's history while also exploring the complex nature of love, loyalty, and the enduring power of friendship.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Doubleday, 2014
ISBN: 9780385536493
Branch Call Number: ALCO
Characteristics: 287 pages

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firebird770
Jun 15, 2017

Just loved this book. The story evolves around the industrial revolution in Britain, a time of hardship and suffering for the people who lived on the land. A girl leaves her family farm to escape to a better life and works for one of the mills where working conditions play a tragic part in the lives of the young women who work in the mills and then live in dormitories in their off hours. Tragic, exciting, and romantic. The heroine goes to court to make for change to the working conditions in the mills. Good read.

athompson10 Sep 19, 2016

Not my favorite. Reads more like a romance than historical fiction, and a forced, predictable and totally unrealistic romance at that. The history aspect - mill workers in New England - is a lightly researched backdrop for the romance.

d
DeltaQueen50
May 26, 2016

This love story blends class differences with industrial history and small town politics into an interesting story. The trial that dominates much of the book was based on a real-life trial on the death of a mill-girl, and this adds a great deal of authenticity to the story. Personally I could have done without the romance which I found superficial and would have preferred more about the struggle for justice and better working conditions that these young women were starting to be involved in.

m
Mothercat
May 13, 2015

Enjoyed reading this story, makes one appreciate how far we have come in providing safe working conditions, particularly for female employees (not that there isn't still room for improvement, however ...).

Aggie3 Sep 27, 2014

A book hard to put down. Every page held my interest. Well written. I have never before heard of the Lowell Mills, so it's been a new topic for me. Kate Alcott manages descriptions and historical fact in an interesting way. The story line is interesting and keeps you glued to the book. I really enjoyed it. Thumbs up.

ehbooklover Apr 25, 2014

This is a fictionalized account of the lives of the “mill girls” of Lowell, Massachusetts. The story touches on the long hours, dangerous equipment and low pay that these women endured and their subsequent fight for safer working conditions. It also includes a murder and trial which are based on actual events. An enjoyable read despite a somewhat improbable romance.

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