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Publisher's Summary

Inspired by the true story of Ohio’s first female sheriff, The Widows by Jess Montgomery is a powerful debut about two women’s search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community.  

Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town’s widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death.   

Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware Daniel has died and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter.   

From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena’s lives collide as they realize Daniel was not the man either of them believed him to be - and that his murder is far more complex than either of them could have imagined.  

©2019 Sharon Short (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

The Widows kept me on the edge of my seat. Jess Montgomery is a masterful storyteller. This is a novel about courage and the good hearts of women, and it builds, almost unbearably, to its stunning end.” (Lee Martin, Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Bright Forever)

"Set when coal was king and the Pinkertons its strikebreakers, The Widows is a gripping, beautifully written novel about two women avenging the murder of the man they both loved." (Hallie Ephron, New York Times best-selling author of You'll Never Know, Dear)  

"With compassion and skill, Jess Montgomery deftly smashes stereotypes and puts a human face on the cost of coal mining in 1924 Appalachian Ohio. Rich with historical details, yet fast paced, The Widows revolves around a murder investigation. But it was the vivid voices of Lily Ross and Marvena Whitcomb that completely captivated my heart and kept me reading long into the night." (Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel Dupree)

What listeners say about The Widows

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  • Overall
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Terrific story and a terrific performance

This is a wonderful story of two strong minded women in a time when such were not valued. In spite of their disparate backgrounds and personal al histories, an unlikely bond is forged between them. The plot centers around a murder and a brewing fight between miners and a ruthless coal mining owner. The story is superbly read and the plot is fast paced with a surprising ending. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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Great story!

Really enjoyed the story and the strong female characters. The reading was nice with lots of inflection and individual character representation.

2 people found this helpful

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Really great story!

When I selected this book I thought the storyline was interesting- life in a coal mining town after WW1, a murder, and a female sheriff. But I thoroughly got caught up in the writer’s way of evoking emotions and the scenes she deftly painted with words. And the narrator did an excellent job of adding to the story with her energy and the changing inflection of her voice. I’ll definitely be sharing this with my friends. Looking forward to another book by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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Best Senior Read

This book is fantastic. The end really surprised me. I definitely recommend reading or listening.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved the Book!

I loved the charcters, especially enjoyed the descriptions of life as a coal miner. Love believable sories about strong women! Will read the rest of the series.

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slow start, but good

The story started slow and I struggled to get past the first few chapters. I considered returning it and not finishing, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It turned out to be a really enjoyable book.

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Difficult to finish

This book took me forever to finish. I felt it was long and drawn out. The narrator was like listening to nails on a chalkboard. If I heard "Daniel's been found" once I heard it a thousand times. The storyline was boring and dull. Definitely not a favorite.

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Read it!

A captivating story of two strong women who stand up for what is right. I am looking forward to Book 2, The Hollows.

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Kept my attention

It was a great book. Enjoyed learning about the miners and a part of history I knew little about. Some parts were a little predictable but not too bad and I did listen to the end.