The Women of the Copper Country: A Novel (Paperback)
Fans of historical fiction will delight in this supremely researched and articulated account of the 1913 copper mine strike in Upper Michigan town of Calumet. Vividly told, you'll bond with "Big Annie" who led the Women's Auxillary of the union and persevered under extremely harsh conditions -- brutal weather, brutal food shortages, brutal work requirements and cultural norms. The character of the unforgiving, and unyielding James MacNaughton is so similar to "It's A Wonderful Life"'s Mr. Potter, you pray for him to get his comeuppance. Ah, good reader, be prepared for the sad truths in this historic action which ultimately pushed social mores of the time to give workers better wages and working conditions. Read the afterwords from the author to learn more about this fascinating glimpse of labor relations history. Highly recommended.
— From Staff Picks by Maureen
From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes “historical fiction that feels uncomfortably relevant today” (Kirkus Reviews) about “America’s Joan of Arc”—the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike against the largest copper mining company in the world.
In July 1913, twenty-five-year-old Annie Clements has seen enough of the world to know that it’s unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan, where men risk their lives for meager salaries—and have barely enough to put food on the table for their families. The women labor in the houses of the elite, and send their husbands and sons deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren’t coming home. So, when Annie decides to stand up for the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle.
Yet as Annie struggles to improve the future of her town, her husband becomes increasingly frustrated with her growing independence. She faces the threat of prison while also discovering a forbidden love. On her fierce quest for justice, Annie will see just how much she is willing to sacrifice for the families of Calumet.
From one of the most versatile writers in contemporary fiction, this novel is an authentic and moving historical portrait of the lives of the crucial men and women of the early labor movement “with an important message that will resonate with contemporary readers” (Booklist).
About the Author
Widely praised for her meticulous research, fine prose, and compelling narrative drive, Mary Doria Russell is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day, Doc, and Epitaph. Dr. Russell holds a PhD in biological anthropology. She lives in Lyndhurst, Ohio.
“Historical fiction that feels uncomfortably relevant today.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Fictionalized history with an important message that will resonate with contemporary readers.”
Stunning, heartbreakingly real and at once a strong, unflinching story of poverty and socioeconomic inequities that haunt us in our imperfect country. Violence against children, homelessness and food insecurity will weigh on your heart as Rex tells his story. His story is more powerful because he is not alone, as this is an all-too-common theme in some households. A truly superb memoir and one that will never be forgotten. - Reviewed by Maureen