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The Daring Ladies of Lowell
     

The Daring Ladies of Lowell

4.2 20
by Kate Alcott
 

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Eager to escape life on her family’s farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of “the mill girls.”  The hours are long and the conditions are bad, but Alice soon finds a true friend in Lovey Cornell, a saucy, strong-willed girl who is outspoken about the dangers they face in the factories . . .

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The Daring Ladies of Lowell: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great slice of history, sweet romance that takes some interesting turns and wonderfully spirited mill girls. The novel moves along quickly but also really conveys what it was like to work the loom
lsmeadows More than 1 year ago
A light historical romance Kate Alcott's second historical novel, The Daring Ladies of Lowell is set in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts during the 1830s.  Lowell is one of the East Coast towns that were famous for the cloth mills that populated the area and were infamous for their "sweatshop" conditions.  Alice Barrow is a farm girl who travels to Lowell to begin work in the mill.  Once she has found a dormitory with an extra space, she settles in and begins her career as one of the "mill girls".  There were several things that I enjoyed about this book.  First of all, I enjoyed the mix of characters included in the cast of mill girls.  Kate Alcott did a good job of including characters whose personalities were as varied as the girls themselves were.   Among Alice's friends and dormitory sisters we find the religious, the studious, the goody two shoes, the adventurous, and those that just wanted to have a little fun.  Another way that Kate Alcott's portrayal of the mill girls was spot on was in the way that she portrayed the juxtapositions of their lives.  Although the living and working conditions are harsh, they are much better than those that most of these girls came from, mostly because for the first time in their lives, they are able to make decisions for themselves, at least on some level.  I thought that the way the allure of their lives was contrasted with it's bleak realities was quite well done.  Another aspect of this book that worked for me was in the portrayal of the mill owner, Hiram Fiske.  Like so many of the men in his position, Hiram was a mix of characteristics.  Although he was getting rich off of the backs of the mill girls, at times he was honestly able to convince himself that he was making their lives better.  And just when he was about to convince you that he could do the right thing, his greed would rear its ugly head and he would become a man whose only purpose in life was to make his business more profitable than his competitors, no matter who was hurt in the process. Another great plus to this book was the fact that the murder and subsequent trial that were interwoven through the story were based on an actual event.  I always love when a historical book uses actual events to tell a fictional story.  It not only shows that the author did some research on the subject, but for me it makes the story have more impact.  In the case of this story, also, the murder and trial were the perfect devices to illustrate the realities of  the lives of the characters.  Not only were we able to see how the mill girls would eventually band together for their joint benefit, but using the trial to showcase the thinking of the mill owners at that time was wonderful. What didn't work for me, though, was the romance side of the story.  I will  be the first to admit that I don't mind a little romance with my history, but in this case, the romance presented just did not ring true. A romance between the mill owner's son and one of the mill girls was just too fanciful for me and took away from the realistic feeling of the rest of the book.  I would have found it much less distracting if the romance would have developed between Alice and the town doctor, or someone who lived in Lowell, but wasn't a mill worker. In fact, I would much rather have had more of the story about the mill girls, their lives,  and their working conditions.  Alternately, I would have been happier if more of the story would have been centered on the mill owners and their justifications for their behavior, or about the murder and trial.  Having read a few other books that were similar in character to this, I found the underlying story was good, but could have gone farther.  However, I would still recommend this book for those who are interested in reading about the women and girls who worked in the mills, especially if you like a bit of romance with your history.  Thanks to the Doubleday for making a copy of this book available through Edelweiss in exchange for my review. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the Dressmaker and thoroughly enjoying that book I wanted to read the authors second book. I enjoy historical fiction and strong female characters. Along with friendships, loyalty, murder, love and loss tied in this book had all the components of a great summer read!
artist12 More than 1 year ago
Loved it. If you've read her other book, The Seamstress, you'll absolutely die for this one. It's a quick read just because it's so good not because it's not deep. Great historical fiction novel.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
The Daring Ladies of Lowell Kate Alcott presents a moving and informative historical novel about the women who worked in the cotton mills of Lowell Massachusetts in the 1800s. She doesn’t mince words about some of the inhumane working conditions, such as ventilation so poor that the ladies sometimes breathed in so much cotton that they would literally vomit cotton balls. But she presents a balanced view, by also illustrating the positive aspects of their lives - such as  more independence than most other females of their era. Some of the characters were real, and a tragedy she describes, was based on a true story. In fact, everything I read in this book lines up with the facts as I learned them in college some years ago.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am from Lowell and expected sometging more sophisticated than this love story, There was no meat ,no research done, same old same old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Alcott takes an historical event/situation and created a fictional story around it. This book centers around the girls who worked in the Lowell Mills and follows the shift from awe at the city and job opportunity through the emerging struggles of labor laws. This is combined with a murder trial and the class division between a mill girl and the owners. I had to force myself to put it down so that I wouldn't read it all in the first sitting. I highly recommend this and her other book, The Dressmaker.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy read, easy to put down, easy to pick back up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy books that are both a mix of fiction and historical. This book was well written with a good insight to the textile mills of that day and what it took to run them.
kkflyer More than 1 year ago
I loved this story. Historically interesting with mystery and romance to boot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed her book The Dressmaker. This book has the history of the cotton mills where young women worked along with a murder mystery and the trial that ensued. History along with fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though I enjoyed the book, I think I prefered Ms. Alcott's other book more. There were times when the book dragged. If you like to read about strong women in history, I would suggest you read this book. The story centers on a group of women who worked in the factories during the 18th century. some of the story is based on a true incident, the death of a young woman.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good read. I love stories about strong females and this was one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Difficult book to get into, and sometimes confusing. No clue who Harry was until the end at which time I went back and retread each Harry chapter. At that point the pieces fell into place. Difficult, but worth the read...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago