cover image The Silver Baron’s Wife

The Silver Baron’s Wife

Donna Baier Stein. Serving House Books, $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-0-9971010-6-5

In this eloquent novel, Stein portrays the independent, eccentric, and resilient woman known as Baby Doe, a legendary figure from Colorado’s silver boom. Elizabeth “Lizzie” McCourt Doe is a renowned beauty who moved from Wisconsin to Colorado in the 1870s so that her husband, Harvey Doe, could work in the silver mine that they partially owned. Confronted with his addictions and womanizing, Lizzie divorces Harvey. He heads home to Wisconsin, but she stays in Colorado out of shame and embarrassment. What later begins as an affair with Horace Tabor, a married silver magnate 30 years her senior, eventually turns into a loving marriage with two daughters. Though they are tremendously wealthy, the couple is shunned socially, and a financial crisis soon wipes out their fortune. As Lizzie’s problems mount, she becomes reclusive, living alone in a cabin with her visions—holy images and complex dreams from her past, revealed to readers in a lyrical, meditative voice. Stein’s blend of love story, scandal, and mystical experience is satisfying and entertaining. (BookLife)