Coal River

Ellen Marie Wiseman. Kensington, $15 trade paper (327p) ISBN 978-1-61773-447-2
In 1912, 19-year-old Emma Malloy is left without resources after the death of her parents. She returns to the place of her childhood nightmare: Coal River, Pa., a dank mining town where her brother died tragically young. Emma is forced to live with her abusive aunt and uncle, and she quickly realizes that young "breaker boys" are illegally working in the mines, suffering injuries and death, while the mine owner rakes in the profit. Unwilling to stand by silently while more mining families suffer, Emma secretly joins forces with a young miner who hopes to instigate a strike. Conflict between the workers and their corrupt management bring the town to its kneesā€”and Emma's courageous plan brings the world to their doorstep. Wiseman (What She Left Behind) offers heartbreaking and historically accurate depictions of the dangerous mines, the hopeless workers, and their improbable fight for justice. The richly developed coal town acts as a separate, complex character; readers will want to look away even as they're drawn into a powerful quest for purpose and redemption. The improbable ending, in which every plot strand is neatly tied up, undercuts the realism of the otherwise powerful story. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/23/2015
Release date: 11/24/2015
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4945-1544-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-4945-6544-2
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-62899-821-4
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