Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Playing St. Barbara review

"The secrets, struggles, and self-redemption of a Depression-era coal miner's wife and three daughters plays out against a turbulent historical backdrop of Ku Klux Klan intimidation and the 1933 Pennsylvania Mine War. Their intertwined lives eerily mirror the 7th century legend of St. Barbara, patroness of miners, reenacted annually in the town pageant. 

Tested by scandal, heartbreak, and tragedy, each woman will write her own courageous ending to St. Barbara's story." (Description via Goodreads). 

When I picked up this book to read it, I didn't really know much about it, having only briefly read the description a few weeks prior. Sometimes those are the most interesting books! I learned so much about mining life and this Mine War, while being thrown into these four women's lives through the excellent character development. We all know how I am attracted to character-driven novels and this one definitely shone in that area. Drama with a punch. 

I also loved the idea of St. Barbara having such a large role in this story, not ever having heard of her before. I don't know a whole lot about saints, but having a town pageant dedicated to this particular patroness of miners was fascinating. Though I didn't grow up anywhere near a mining town, the people of The Hive and the way life was led there truly reminded me of my own small town, with its quiet caste system and drama-filled lives. 

I was part of the TLC Book Tour for Playing St. Barbara. You can find author Marian Szczepanski on her website or on Facebook. You can find the rest of the tour stops here

1 comment:

trish said...

I'm so glad you liked it! The mining aspect of the book sounds fascinating.

I'm reading a book right now where I didn't know much of anything going into it, and I think I'm liking it even more since I didn't have preconceived notions of what the book would be about. It's hard to not read books' synopses, but I might try doing that from now on (other than to get a feel for whether I would like the book or not).

Thanks for being on the tour!