The Daring Ladies of Lowell

Publisher: Anchor

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 . . . and about Alice opening her heart to a blossoming relationship with Samuel Fiske, the handsome and sympathetic son of the mill’s owner.
 
But when Lovey is found dead under suspicious circumstances, a sensational trial brings the workers’ unrest to a boiling point, leaving Alice is torn between finding justice for her friend and her growing passion for the man with whom she had no business falling in love. 
 

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Chapter One

Lowell, Massachusetts

March 1832

Alice stepped gingerly into the darkened dormitory, holding her breath against the unexpected. An oil lamp flickered, turned so low she could see no more than a line of cots squeezed close together in a long, narrow room. The air was close, aromatic with the...
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READING GUIDE

This guide is intended to enhance your discussion of Kate Alcott's The Daring Ladies of Lowell.

1. How is the treatment of the “factory girls” different from the way women are treated in today’s work place?  How is it similar?

2. Did the descriptions of how much work went...

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PRAISE FOR

“A suspenseful, compelling tale of courageous young women fighting for justice.” —Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
  
“Alice is cast in the mold of a character created by an earlier Alcott, the passionate and spunky Jo March. A refreshingly old-fashioned heroine.” —The New York Times Book Review
  
“Offers up a compelling slice of both feminist and Industrial Age history.” —Christian Science Monitor
 
“Both inspiring and thought-provoking…. Will keep the reader captivated for hours.” —The Free-Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA)

“Riveting. . . . In this book, and in real life, there’s no story—or change—if people don’t push the boundaries of what is acceptable, or give voice to uncomfortable truths.” —Huffington Post

“Alcott draws from dramatic events indelibly etched in history and offers a fresh perspective. . . . Alcott’s work will attract historical romance fans who will be entertained by the antics of the daring ladies who leave everything they know and embrace less-than-ideal conditions to gain their freedom.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“The carefully detailed life in the Massachusetts cotton mills gives Alcott’s latest a ring of authenticity. Add to this well-drawn characters, a sensational trial, a forbidden romance and a young woman’s struggle for independence and you have a compelling read. Alcott is a splendid storyteller who knows exactly how to capture reader attention with a perfect combination of history and romance.” —The Romantic Times

“Captures the spirit and courage of the young women who dared to work at factory jobs. Kate Alcott draws on the true story of a murdered mill girl for this captivating story of loyalty, friendship, and love—most of all, love.” —Sandra Dallas, author of Alice’s Tulips

“An engrossing narrative with a love story at its core.” —Booklist

The Daring Ladies of Lowell are as complicated and flawed as any contemporary heroines, and they shine in this gripping 19th century tale about a small group of “factory girls” who refuse to be silenced when one of their own is murdered. . . . A nuanced gem of a novel about friendship, sacrifice, and love that will keep you turning its pages until the very end.” —Amy Brill, author of The Movement of Stars  

“Will illuminate and satisfy.” —Publishers Weekly