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Gilded mountain : a novel / Kate Manning.

By: Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Scribner, 2022Copyright date: ©2022Edition: First Scribner hardcover editionDescription: 451 pages ; 24 cmContent type:
  • text
Media type:
  • unmediated
Carrier type:
  • volume
  • 9781982160944 :
  • 1982160942
Subject(s): Genre/Form: DDC classification:
  • 813/.6 23/eng/20221017
Summary: In the early 1900s, Sylvie Pelletier leaves her family's Colorado mountain cabin to start work at a wealthy mine-owner's manor house and is fascinated by he luxury around her until she discovers the family's philosophy is at odds with the unfair labor practices that built their fortune.
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Item type Current library Collection Shelving location Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Adult Book Phillipsburg Free Public Library Adult Fiction New Books FIC MANNING Available 36748002524439
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

"Immersive...awe-inspiring." -- The New York Times "An epic story of love, hope, and perseverance." -- #1 New York Times bestselling author Christina Baker Kline

This "stellar read" ( Los Angeles Times ) is an exhilarating tale of an unforgettable young woman who bravely exposes the corruption that enriched her father's employers in early 1900s Colorado.

In a voice infused with sly humor, Sylvie Pelletier recounts leaving her family's snowbound mountain cabin to work in a manor house for the Padgetts, owners of the marble-mining company that employs her father and dominates the town. Sharp-eyed Sylvie is awed by the luxury around her; fascinated by her employer, the charming "Countess" Inge, and confused by the erratic affections of Jasper, the bookish heir to the family fortune. Her fairy-tale ideas take a dark turn when she realizes the Padgetts' lofty philosophical talk is at odds with the unfair labor practices that have enriched them. Their servants, the Gradys, formerly enslaved people, have long known this to be true and are making plans to form a utopian community on the Colorado prairie.

Outside the manor walls, the town of Moonstone is roiling with discontent. A handsome union organizer, along with labor leader Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, is stirring up the quarry workers. The editor of the local newspaper--a bold woman who takes Sylvie on as an apprentice--is publishing unflattering accounts of the Padgett Company. Sylvie navigates vastly different worlds and struggles to find her way amid conflicting loyalties. When the harsh winter brings tragedy, Sylvie decides to act.

Drawn from true stories of Colorado history, Gilded Mountain is a tale of a bygone American West seized by robber barons and settled by immigrants, and is a story imbued with longing--for self-expression and equality, freedom and adventure.

In the early 1900s, Sylvie Pelletier leaves her family's Colorado mountain cabin to start work at a wealthy mine-owner's manor house and is fascinated by he luxury around her until she discovers the family's philosophy is at odds with the unfair labor practices that built their fortune.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

Manning (My Notorious Life) sets this stellar coming-of-age novel in early 20th-century Moonstone, Colo., where a young woman gets a firsthand look at the machinations behind an exploitive mining company and its workers' efforts to unionize. Sixteen-year-old Sylvie Pelletier's quarryman father, Jacques, works in the dangerous high-altitude marble mines owned by industrialist Jerome Padgett. Jacques and union representative George Lonahan want to organize the miners, efforts the company fights with various forms of intimidation that escalate to hiring violent Pinkerton thugs, while Padgett's wife, Inge, hopes to pacify the workers with company-owned libraries and schools. Sylvie leaves her job at the local newspaper and moves into the Padgetts' luxurious manor for a higher-paying role as Inge's live-in secretary in summer 1907. There she meets the Gradys, a Black couple whose complex ties to the Padgett family are later revealed, and falls in love with Padgett's son, Jace, from a previous marriage. The hard-drinking and idealistic Jace seems to return Sylvie's feelings but departs for college at the end of summer without saying goodbye. Sylvie returns to the newspaper, whose fearless female owner's reporting on injustices at the mine inspires Sylvie to become a reporter. Meanwhile, winter salary stoppages and a death at the mine rekindle the drive toward unionization as Sylvie grows attracted to Lonahan. Sylvie's vivid first-person narration captures her own maturing perceptions and the complex personalities of the major characters as well as supporting players including activist Mary "Mother" Jones. Manning shines at giving the era's class, racial, and economic tensions a human face. This is one to savor. Agent: Sarah Burnes, Gernert Company. (Nov.)

Booklist Review

In 1907, Sylvie Pelletier is a first-generation American and the daughter of French Canadian parents. Sylvie's father finds work in a marble mine in Colorado owned by the rich Padgett family. Sylvie, her mother, and brothers join him there, only to find harsh conditions and unrest. Sylvie's father favors unionizing to combat the company's unfair labor practices. Sylvie takes a job as a printer's devil for a female and socialist newspaper editor who champions the labor cause but then finds herself torn when she's offered a position as private secretary to the mine owner's wife. This provides Sylvia with a window into a life of luxury and throws her together with the troubled Padgett heir, Jasper. Sylvie's feelings for Jasper and his world provoke guilt and inner turmoil. Manning's prose is descriptive, combining such real historical figures as King Leopold of Belgium and labor organizer Mother Jones and fictional characters to position Sylvie in the midst of multiple social struggles. Readers interested in tales about privilege, class struggle, economic disparity, and racism will find these issues explored throughout Manning's tale.

Kirkus Book Review

Everything old is (unfortunately) new again. Echoes of current social problems resonate throughout Manning's extensively researched saga of a young woman's life in a Colorado mining town at the turn of the 20th century. Teenage Sylvie Pelletier's family is forced to relocate from Vermont to Colorado after her father runs afoul of anti-union sentiments at his marble quarrying job. Naïvely, Sylvie looks forward to a more unfettered existence in Colorado, a thought which is quashed almost from the outset of her life there. The economic realities of working-class life in a company town are harsh, and winters in that setting are almost unendurable. After finishing school, Sylvie obtains a job as a jack-of-all-trades at the town's newspaper, an opportunity which allows her a small measure of independence and income while opening her eyes to the value of an uncensored press. Soon, she is hired as a secretary by the dilettantish trophy wife of the mining company's owner, a position which allows her an insider's view of the family's opulent lifestyle and deplorable labor and social practices. As the mine's workers become increasingly militant about union organization in the face of their exploitation, Sylvie must reconcile her infatuation with the whimsical yet troubled heir to the mining fortune with her familial obligations (and an attraction to a labor organizer!). Issues of race relations and the toxic legacy of slavery figure prominently in the narrative, as do questions about the legitimacy of unions, corporate and workplace regulation, and the privatization of police functions (via the employment of murderous Pinkerton guards by the mine owners). Manning's bildungsroman not only provides a clear portrait of her young heroine; it captures the intensity of an unsettled time and place in American history. Manning's historical fiction entertains and instructs. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
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