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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes “historical fiction that feels uncomfortably relevant today” (Kirkus Reviews) about “America’s Joan of Arc” - the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike against the largest copper mining company in the world.

In July 1913, 25-year-old Annie Clements has seen enough of the world to know that it’s unfair. She’s spent her whole life in the mining town of Calumet, Michigan, where men risk their lives for meager salaries - and have barely enough to put food on the table for their families. The women labor in the houses of the elite and send their husbands and sons deep underground each day, dreading the fateful call of the company man telling them their loved ones aren’t coming home. So, when Annie decides to stand up for the entire town of Calumet, nearly everyone believes she may have taken on more than she is prepared to handle. Yet as Annie struggles to improve the future of her town, her husband becomes increasingly frustrated with her growing independence. She faces the threat of prison while also discovering a forbidden love. On her fierce quest for justice, Annie will see just how much she is willing to sacrifice for the families of Calumet. 

From one of the most versatile writers in contemporary fiction, this novel is an authentic and moving historical portrait of the lives of the crucial men and women of the early labor movement “with an important message that will resonate with contemporary readers” (Booklist). 

©2019 Mary Doria Russell (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about The Women of the Copper Country

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Maybe the reader should have visited Michigan

My ears! The constant mispronunciation of “Houghton,” “pasties,” and “Mackinac” is making me grimace. The story is compelling, but the reader and the producers really should have familiarized themselves with the regional lingo. The errors mar the performance.

12 people found this helpful

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How did the mispronouncing slip through?

As someone who lives in Michigan and absolutely loves Calumet this book was a great story! However “pasties” and “Houghton” are 100% mispronounced. It made me cringe and grit my teeth at each mention. How did this mistake go unnoticed? It needs to be re-recorded.

7 people found this helpful

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Great, but frustrating if you're a Michigander!

Living here in the U.P., I was delighted to see a historical fiction novel based around the real life events surrounding the Copper Country mining era. The story centers around Big Annie, head of the Women's Auxiliary who rallies the women of Calumet along with their husbands to strike against the big and wealthy Calumet and Hecla Mining Company due to deplorable working conditions. The author does a fantastic job of describing the people, setting, and events that surround the strike and attempts to unionize the mine workers. I listened to this book nearly straight through, and despite the gripping story, well-written plot, and engaging characters, I can't find it in my heart to give this more than three stars. I can't fathom why no one (i.e. the author) wouldn't proof the audio version before publishing it. Not that Campbell would know, but she's totally mispronouncing very important words. From the very first opening paragraph, "Houghton" is completely mispronounced. That might be overlooked, but it's nearly a sin here in U.P. to mispronounce "pasty," as Ms. Campbell does repeatedly. It was like nails on a chalkboard. It's not so distracting that one can't enjoy the story, so I definitely recommend it. But the lack of attention to these critical local, iconic words is disappointing and takes away from the authenticity of the tale. If you're a Yooper and hearing "pasties" pronounced wrong drives you absolutely bananas, I recommend you read the Kindle version, eh?

23 people found this helpful

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Mispronunciations need to be fixed

Though the story is compelling and an important part of history, it was difficult to listen to. Like others, I was surprised at the mispronunciations of some frequently repeated words in the book. It was distracting from being able to enjoy the story. Someone should have caught this before it was released. I ended up buying the print version so I wouldn’t have to listen to it anymore.

5 people found this helpful

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Bad narration

The narrator pronounces Houghton as How-ton. I couldn't listen to the slandering of the names. In my opinion, some basic study of the pronunciation of names should be done before narrating a book. I did not listen to the book after that. I will buy the hard copy.

4 people found this helpful

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Great story, well written

I'm so glad I didn't listen to the reviews that were overly critical of the narrator mispronouncing Houghton and Pasty. Certainly, she could have done some homework, but I found the story riveting from beginning to end. The author did a great job of capturing the history of this time and place, developing the characters, and creating an engaging story. My family originally settled in the Houghton area when they came from Italy and I was happy to read about some of the challenges they faced as immigrants. The story speaks to early struggles of the labor movement and courageous the courageous people who paved the way to a better life for many Americans in the 20th century.

2 people found this helpful

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Educational and Enlightening

I listened to the audio version and it was like fingernails on a blackboard hearing the mispronunciation of Houghton and pasty. Michigan Technological University was referred to as Michigan Technical University. Story was very enlightening and educational!

2 people found this helpful

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I’m so sorry about the pronunciations

Dear editor: I’m on chapter one and am cringing at several of the wrong pronunciations. I’m from this area and am sad you didn’t check some of these words before publishing!

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

eh.

Difficult to stay interested. Characterization was shallow, I never got involved with any of the people. The narrator repeatedly mispronounced 2 well known towns of in the story, and a food that this area is famous for. Also, this is about historical events, yet she changed it at will.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another winner from Mary Doria Russell

Riveting story of the 1913 copper strike f in Michigan, featuring some amazing women, including Mother Jones (yes, THE Mother Jones), Ella Bloor, and one particularly vile mine owner. Excellent book, beautifully read.

1 person found this helpful