About The Book: In this vibrant new historical novel, the acclaimed author of The Plum Tree and What She Left Behind explores one young woman's determination to put an end to child labor in a Pennsylvania mining town. . .As a child, Emma Malloy left isolated Coal River, Pennsylvania, vowing never to return. Now, orphaned and penniless at nineteen, she accepts a train ticket from her aunt and uncle and travels back to the rough-hewn community. Treated like a servant by her relatives, Emma works for free in the company store. There, miners and their impoverished families must pay inflated prices for food, clothing, and tools, while those who owe money are turned away to starve. Most heartrending of all are the breaker boys Emma sees around the village--young children who toil all day sorting coal amid treacherous machinery. Their soot-stained faces remind Emma of the little brother she lost long ago, and she begins leaving stolen food on families' doorsteps, and marking the miners' bills as paid. Though Emma's actions draw ire from the mine owner and police captain, they lead to an alliance with a charismatic miner who offers to help her expose the truth. And as the lines blur between what is legal and what is just, Emma must risk everything to follow her conscience. An emotional, compelling novel that rings with authenticity--Coal River is a deft and honest portrait of resilience in the face of hardship, and of the simple acts of courage that can change everything.
About The Author: Ellen Marie Wiseman discovered her love of reading and writing while attending first grade in one of the last one-room schoolhouses in NYS. Her debut novel The Plum Tree - a WWII story about a young German woman trying to save the love of her life, a Jewish man - was released by Kensington in January 2013. She is the internationally published author of three novels from Kensington, THE PLUM TREE, WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND, (January 2014) and the forthcoming COAL RIVER (December 2015). She would love to have you join her on Facebook, www.facebook.com/EllenMarieWisemanAuthor, Twitter, @EllenMarieWise and on her web site: www.ellenmariewiseman.com
My Thoughts On The Book: I love historical fiction. As I began reading the book the fiction seemed to disappear. The author uses some licenses in her portrayal of how things could have been, but there was a good bit of historical correctness present. Wiseman did her homework. I loved this book and am so glad I chose to review it. I have done summer missionary work through Appalachian Service Project in coal mining areas of Kentucky and was touched by the stories and people. Thanks to this book challenging me to do a little research, I learned a lot about coal miners and the conditions they worked under. The breaker boys element in the story broke my heart. Wiseman truly expressed the power of the human spirit in this book. The characters are so life-like. You love some, you hate some, and you feel sorry for many. Emma, was so very young, but you loved her determination and drive. Her aunt and uncle I wanted to throttle about half-way through the story. Once I started reading this I could not put it down.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this e-book free from Netgalley as part of their Blogging Review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!