It is 1832, but this book could have been written about the women of today in the workplace. It is amazing how similar the struggles are even today. But the stars of the story are the "Mill girls" and the friendship between artistic, loyal Alice Barrow and saucy, charismatic Lovey Cornell. Tragedy strikes when Lovey is found murdered. A trial ensues and a friendship between Alice and the Cotton Mill's owner son Samuel turns into something deeper.
The author tells a great story, describing the unhealthy and dangerous conditions the girls work in the mills. How the wealthy mill owners pay law enforcement and other professionals to look the other way when conditions threaten lives everyday. These girls left the homes and farms they knew, to seek better lives and a future. They just didn't figure on the low pay, the impossible hours (thirteen-hour workdays, 6 days a week), and the life-threatening working conditions. A compelling read.