Why this book?
This might be the most powerful novel about U.S. working conditions since Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle; if I were president of the AFL-CIO, I would hand out copies at every picket line. But beyond its moral force, this is also a beautiful, page-turning story of loyalty between two young Irish-American brothers, Gig and Rye Dolan, who arrive penniless in Spokane, Washington, in the early 1900s hoping to find jobs. As they get caught up in the violent battles pitting workers against mine owners and the corrupt local police, Gig and Rye are each drawn to union activism in a different way—and, in turn, draw further apart. It’s a book that hit me in the head, heart, and gut in multiple ways.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
'A beautiful, lyric hymn to the power of social unrest in American history...funny and harrowing, sweet and violent, innocent and experienced; it walks a dozen tightropes' Anthony Doerr, author of All the Light We Cannot See
1909. Spokane, Washington.
The Dolan brothers are living by their wits, jumping freight trains and lining up for work at crooked job agencies. While sixteen-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his dashing older brother Gig dreams of a better world, fighting alongside other union men for fair pay and decent treatment.
But then Rye finds himself drawn to suffragette…