The Widows
by Jess Montgomery


Overview -

" The Widows kept me on the edge of my seat. Montgomery is a masterful storyteller." --Lee Martin, author of Pulitzer Prize-Finalist The Bright Forever

Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town's widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death.  Read more...


 
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More About The Widows by Jess Montgomery
 
 
 
Overview

"The Widows kept me on the edge of my seat. Montgomery is a masterful storyteller." --Lee Martin, author of Pulitzer Prize-Finalist The Bright Forever

Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town's widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death.

Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner's widow, is unaware that Daniel has died, and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter.

From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena's lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be--and that his murder is far more complex than either of them could have imagined.

Inspired by the true story of Ohio's first female sheriff, this is a powerful debut about two women's search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community.


"The Widows is a gripping, beautifully written novel about two women avenging the murder of the man they both loved."--Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of You'll Never Know, Dear

"Jess Montgomery's gorgeous writing can be just as dark and terrifying as a subterranean cave when the candle is snuffed out, but her prose can just as easily lead you to the surface for a gasp of air and a glimpse of blinding, beautiful sunlight. This is a powerful novel a tale of loss, greed, and violence, and the story of two powerful women who refuse to stand down."--Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Ballad, A Land More Kind than Home, and This Dark Road to Mercy

" A] flinty, heartfelt mystery that sings of hawks and history, of coal mines and the urgent fight for social justice."--Julia Keller, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bone on Bone


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781250184528
  • ISBN-10: 1250184525
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • Publish Date: January 2019
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.15 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - Historical
Books > Fiction > Mystery & Detective - Women Sleuths

 
BookPage Reviews

The mountains are calling

In Montgomery’s The Widows, the coal mining industry of Rossville, Ohio, in 1925 serves as the ominous backdrop to the lives of Lily Ross and Marvena Whitcomb. The story opens with a catastrophic mining explosion of methane gas that kills Marvena’s husband, John, which is soon followed by the death of Lily’s husband, Sheriff Daniel Ross, at the hands of an escaped inmate.

While Marvena fights to unionize mine workers for safer conditions and better wages, Lily assumes the mantle of acting sheriff in order to track down and apprehend her husband’s killer. Unaware that Daniel has been killed, Marvena goes to his house to ask his help in finding her missing 16-year-old daughter, Eula. Lily promises to help in Marvena’s search, oblivious to the fact that Marvena sought out Daniel’s assistance because of their prior relationship. Standing in their respective ways is the coal company and its Pinkerton detectives, thugs hired as enforcers to keep the coal miners in line, even as local politicians and law enforcement officials look the other way.

Inspired by the real lives of Ohio’s first female sheriff, Maude Collins, and community organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, The Widows is told in alternating chapters from the two women’s points of view. This is the first book published by author Sharon Short under the pseudonym Jess Montgomery, and her writing is brisk, yet it lingers long enough to indulge readers with beautiful prose along the way.

In Maren’s debut novel, Sugar Run, characters looking for a fresh start are also drawn to the Appalachian Mountains, specifically a tiny village in rural West Virginia, where fracking and drug running have all but replaced coal mining and moonshining.

The novel follows two eras in the life of Jodi McCarty, with the bulk of the story set in 2007 as she tries to acclimate to freedom after 18 years in prison for manslaughter. Guilt-ridden over the death of her former lover, Paula Dulett, Jodi is compelled to seek out and then look after Paula’s younger brother, Ricky, now grown but mentally handicapped as a result of a beating he took at the hands of his abusive father.

Along the way, Jodi meets Miranda Matheson, the young mother of three children, who has left her country music-star husband and his drug-addicted lifestyle. Jodi, perhaps yearning for what she once had with Paula and a chance at a do-over, brings Miranda and her boys home with her. But Jodi’s hopes for a fresh start are almost immediately dashed when she learns that the West Virginia property her grandmother left to her has been snatched up by a Florida investor. As Jodi struggles to find a job and resorts to the drug trade just to make ends meet, Miranda once again falls for her former husband.

An accomplished short story writer, Maren makes her debut count with emotionally charged prose and a sense of the yearning we all have for home.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews