SFF

The Factory Witches of Lowell

Tor.com. Nov. 2020. 128p. ISBN 9781250756565. pap. $13.99. FANTASY
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The textile mills of Lowell, MA, were built for profit, and the Boston-based owners decide that their returns will improve by raising the working girls’ rent. In response, the girls go on strike, led by the tenacious Judith Whittier. Although Judith’s experience in Dover failed, she has crafted a plan that involves her best friend, Hannah Pickering, and Hannah’s talent for witchcraft. As the conflict comes to a head, the mill agent, Mr. Boott, is determined to break the strike and bring the girls back to the mills—or see them suffer. Tension rises as whispers of the spell work increase, and with Hannah’s health at stake, Judith finds her drive and heart strong. Class struggles and industry exploitation are woven into a touching tale layered with magical and romantic elements.
VERDICT In her adult debut, YA author Malerich (Fire & Locket) has created a delightful historical fantasy shining a spotlight on New England history, making this a terrific companion to Alix Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches.

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