Review: Copper Sky, Strong Women Struggle To Survive In Early Montana Mining Town

Review: Copper Sky, Strong Women Struggle To Survive In Early Montana Mining Town

No one had ever been there when she needed them.

1917. Copper Camp of Butte, Montana.  Growing up as an orphan and losing her twin sister to a murder at the age of 10, Kaly Shane had a lot of ghosts and a lot of secrets.  Over the years she tried to live a decent life, but now as a prostitute living on her own in a destitute area of town, she finds herself pregnant by the man who murdered her sister.  But did he?  What really happened that night and what secrets will she find out about her family?

“They wanted her to marry a man she had never met.” 

Back in the Balkans Marika Lailich’s grandmother, Baba, taught her how to heal and Marika’s only wish was to become a doctor, but her father has other plans for her life.  At seventeen, Marika does not want to marry a union man for the mines.  She “has no intention of giving up her dreams, not to feed the Company fodder, which oppressed the men and fueled the mines.”  How can she convince the town and her papa that she is serious about healing?  What does Marika’s future hold?

Though the novel is a work of fiction, the mining disasters depicted were real.  The description of the mining town, the sounds and smells, the disasters, and the lives of the families are very explicit and detailed.  Ms. Marsenich tells a wonderful tale about two women from different backgrounds and the hardships of prostitution, the dangers of mining, pre-arranged marriages and trying to survive in a man’s world.  If you like historical fiction with a bit of romance, you will enjoy this early depiction of copper mining in Montana.

Sharon Clayton
Sharon Clayton
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COPPER SKY by Milana Marsenich