The Last Ballad

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Faber & Faber, Jan 2, 2018 - Fiction - 400 pages
4 Reviews

For twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins life is tough. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with the only work she can find, the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina

When union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May's daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family forever.

Paying tribute to the thousands of heroic women and men who risked their lives to win basic rights for all workers, The Last Ballad is lyrical, heartbreaking and haunting, and the novel which confirms Wiley Cash's place among America's finest writers.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sleahey - LibraryThing

In this beautifully crafted novel, the labor movement in the 1920's in the South is brought painfully to life. We follow the hard scrabble life story of Ella May, who against all odds briefly becomes ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pdebolt - LibraryThing

I was completely engaged with this book and the memorable character of Ella Mae Wiggins from the first page. It is all the more powerful because it is based on a real person who worked at the Loray ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Wiley Cash is the prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy. He and his wife live in Wilmington, North Carolina.

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