The Women of the Copper Country
by Mary Doria Russell
Hardcover- $10.44

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes an inspiring historical novel about “America’s Joan of Arc” Annie ...

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  "One of this years’ best book!" by lpollinger (see profile) 07/05/19

Annie Clements is a young bride living in Michigan in the early 1900’s. Her husband works in the largest copper mine in the world. Conditions in the mine are poor at best and the living conditions for the miners is even worse. Annie decides to stand up for the miners and tries to get them unionized. She faces insurmountable odds with obstacles every step of the way.
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway and would have given it TEN stars if possible.

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 11/02/19

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/10/20

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/11/20

 
  "excellent book of historical fiction" by ebach (see profile) 05/21/20

THE WOMEN OF THE COPPER COUNTRY is another of Mary Doria Russell’s excellent books of historical fiction. She keeps the story not only engaging but historically accurate, taking into account that a few characters are composites or complete fiction to show more of the nonfiction.

The Copper Country of the book’s title is Calumet, a copper-mining town in Michigan‘s Upper Peninsula. But it isn’t really a town. It is really an area consisting not only of the mines but also 40,000 residents, homes, a fine business district, library, medical facilities, etc. It is owned entirely by the mining company, Calumet & Hecla, the employer of most of the men in Calumet.

During 1913 and 1914, Annie Clements organizes and leads the women of Copper Country whose husbands are members of the Western Federation of Miners union. She was even arrested during one prolonged strike that became violent when C & H sent in their strike breakers. She was also a survivor of a fire in Copper Country that killed 73 people, mostly children.

James MacNaughton is the general manager of C & H. He is so obnoxious and evil he seems to be a fictional character to make Annie and her women seem all the more saintly. But he really was that awful, according to Russell.

Russell introduces us to more characters, of course. In so doing, she shows us several different perspectives on life in Copper Country.

A review cannot do this book justice. Read it. You will learn so much, and you’ll enjoy doing it.

I am anxious to hear Russell speak about this. Some parts of the book seem almost unbelievable, and I’d love to ask her about them.

I had an event with her all arranged at my library. Then the pandemic and the lockdown preempted that. Michigan’s governor has started to open things up but not libraries yet. So we’ll see if and when we can rearrange it. Fingers crossed

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 07/13/21

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