cover image The Factory Witches of Lowell

The Factory Witches of Lowell

C.S. Malerich., $13.99 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-250-75656-5

YA author Malerich (Fire and Locket) makes her adult debut with this spellbinding account of a group of textile factory girls in Lowell, Mass., who form a union after their boardinghouse rent is raised. Their demands are simple: higher wages and working conditions that won’t slowly kill them. Judith Whittier, who spearheads the effort, and Hannah Pickering, whose lungs are compromised from inhaling lint, have a plan to make sure their strike doesn’t fail. Hannah, a Seer, has a connection to magic, and though she’s never cast a spell before, she and Judith convince the other girls to bind themselves together so that none of them can break their strike until their demands are met. The spell works, but the factory owners bring in new workers, and the union members struggle to get by with their funds cut off. As tension rises in the ranks of the union, Judith’s feelings toward Hannah change into something more than friendship, and Hannah’s health continues to decline. With Hannah too ill to help, Judith makes one last, magical bid for the girls’ places at the textile mill. The practical magic and genuine connection between Judith and Hannah are sure to charm. Historical fantasy fans won’t want to miss this. (Nov.)