Life in a Wyoming Mining Town in the mid 1800’s
My rating: 4 out of 5
This historical novel tells the tale of a Chinese baby taken in by an American family of coal miners, and her life over the next 17 years. The story shows the difficulty of growing up in a town where you are “different” and no-one wants to be your friend because of that. The American miners feel the Chinese are taking their livelihood away, and with no-one “tryin’ to understand anyone else” racial tensions rise as the book progresses. Liz Harris skillfully takes the reader into the heart of American mining households in the mid 1800’s and the book’s themes include schooling, the everyday life of the miners, shopkeepers and others in the community plus the lives of women in such a town.
This is the second book by Liz Harris that I have read (the first being “A Bargain Struck“), and again with this book you feel that you are there observing the action from just outside an open window. Through the writing you can visualise the town and the homes, and the everyday lives of folk, and it is this attention to historical detail that makes her novels come alive for me.
What a lovely review of The Lost Girl, Emma. Thank you so much. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the novel. I’ve found the history of Wyoming tremendously interesting, and very fruitful when it comes to plot ideas, hence this being the third of the books I’ve set in Wyoming in the 1880s. A Bargain Struck was the first, and then a novella, A Western Heart, which is probably a little more obviously romantic.
I love going back to Wyoming in my head, and I’m delighted that you and other readers have enjoyed visiting the state as it was in the 1880s through my novels, and learning about life in Wyoming in the days when Wyoming was not yet a state, but was Wyoming Territory.
Phew! What a long thank you!