Playing St. Barbara (Paperback)
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The secrets, struggles, and self-redemption of a Depression-era coal miner's wife and three daughters play out against a turbulent historical backdrop of Ku Klux Klan intimidation and the 1933 Pennsylvania Mine War. Their intertwined lives eerily mirror the 7th century legend of St. Barbara, patroness of miners, reenacted annually in the town pageant. Tested by scandal, heartbreak, and tragedy, each woman will write her own courageous ending to St. Barbara's story.
"Marian Szczepanski made a believer out of me. I believe in the possibility of light and grace, even in the darkest of times, and I am more enthralled than ever by the powerful stories of women, sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends." --Nina Sankovitch, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair, for The Huffington Post
"I am full of admiration for the authority with which Marian Szczepanski brings this world to life and the clarity with which she writes about how love, work, and politics shape our lives. A wonderful debut."--Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
"A timeless story of women finding their voices in a world dominated by rigid social divisions, sexual stereotypes, bigotry, and domestic violence. I cheered for them even after I turned the last page."--Barbara Claypole White, author of The Unfinished Garden
"There are inspired, inspiring moments in these pages when you feel in your very muscles, and lungs, and heart the burden one generation tries so hard to bear for another generation."--Kevin McIlvoy, author of The Complete History of New Mexico