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Publisher's Summary

When her tinsmith father and brothers head West, Polish immigrant Marie Kotlarczyk has no choice but to go along. Family, after all, is family. The Dakota Territories are anything but welcoming to the Kotlarczyks, and as the months trip by, Marie must pick up the hammers she’s secretly desired but also feared. When she faces the skeptical people of Flats Town, the demands of the local Army commander, and her public failures, her inner voice grows destructively, forcing Marie to decide exactly who she is and what it means to be a woman smith.

©2019 Promontory Press, Inc. (P)2020 Sara Dahmen

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Fascinating look at life in the 1800's wild west..

I decided to listen to Tinsmith 1865 because I am a huge fan of the narrator, but I ended up really enjoying the story on it's own merits. I live in the west, so I am somewhat familiar with the history of the region, but I learned so much from this book. Since so much of history focuses on the roles of men and of battle in the shaping of our nation, I loved that this story focused on the role of a young woman, Marie, in her family and in her new Dakota Territories home. Because it deals with some very harsh realities, Tinsmith 1865 can be heavy and depressing at times, but I think that made the bright times when Marie triumphs even more special. The detailed descriptions of frontier life and the actual processes of a tinsmith are fascinating, and I can easily believe that the author is a tinsmith herself. I will probably need to read something lighthearted next, but I am happy that I had this glimpse into an important time in our nation's history.

As I said above, Sandra Murphy is one of my favorite narrators. I had previously only listened to her narrate mysteries, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Murphy handles this narration with her usual skill and finesse. I think the story would have been emotional and moving regardless, but Murphy adds a depth that is impressive. Tinsmith 1865 just sealed my complete admiration for this talented performer.