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Kinship Ohio 1924 When Lily Ross learns that her husband Daniel Ross the town’s widely respected sheriff is killed while transporting a prisoner she is devastated and vows to avenge his deathHours after his funeral a stranger appears at her door Marvena Whitcomb a coal miner’s widow is unaware that Daniel has died and begs to speak with him about her missing daughterFrom miles away but worlds apart Lily and Marvena’s lives collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that either of them believed him to be—and that his murder is far complex than either of them could have imaginedInspired by the true story of Ohio’s first female sheriff this is a powerful debut about two women’s search for justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their community


10 thoughts on “The Widows

  1. says:

    Revenge keeps the pain of the wound seeping blood into the foreverLily Ross bends wearily as she sets thing right in the Rossville jail Strapped with a derringer at her ankle Lily eyes the prisoner in the cell facing her The Appalachian foothills in 1925 in this small Ohio town provide a panoramic view of the Devil's Backbone and the coal mines that give dangerous employment to the men of the community Lily's own father was killed in a mine blast in the Widowmaker due to a build up of methane gasLily tends to her duties as the jail mistress It's just within sight of their small home where her two young children sleep contently under the watchful eye of Hildy Her husband Sheriff Daniel Ross left to pick up another prisoner He promises to be back in time for her famous buttermilk pieAs the hours pass Lily waits alert to any footsteps on the stairs But the footsteps on the stairs aren't going to belong to Daniel His Uncle Elias stands in the doorway with sorry written in the form of blood on his hands and his shirt Daniel has been shot to death on the county road It appears that the prisoner wrestled away his gun and the tragedy occursWithin hours of the funeral Lily is approached by Daniel's deputy to take over the job of sheriff until the elections can take place And here is where Jess Montgomery steadies your hands as you clench this book tightly The character of Lily Ross will take on the owners of the local mines the Bureau of Mine Safety and the community that wishes to look the other way Lily will lock eyes with Marvena a mine widow who seems to know Daniel on a different level She too knows that Daniel's death reeks of murderMontgomery presents a storyline so character driven and so polished in its detail that you feel like you are in surround sound The era is one of sacrifice and hard living in which tomorrow is never fully promised At the core is an adept layering of threads filled with rawness and reality And two women Lily and Marvena will settle scores and take on inhuman challenges presented to them Jess Montgomery keeps the pulse of this story pumping and you will savor each and every momentI received a copy of The Widows through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to St Martin's Press and to Jess Montgomery for the opportunity


  2. says:

    The Widows is the first book in the Kinship series a historical mystery written by Jess Montgomery I stumbled upon the second book in the series on NetGalley recently and reuested it the story focuses on a female sheriff which is also a key role in my book series I had to read it When I realized it was part of a series I ordered the first one and read it yesterday I have to read in order it's just who I am I'm so glad I enjoyed this book as it makes me eager to read the second one Let's dive into a reviewThe book takes place in Ohio in the mid 1920s after World War I and the Spanish Influenza but before the Great Depression The chapters alternate POV between Marvena a close ally of the sheriff and Lily the sheriff's wife The two women have never met until Daniel's the sheriff's death Who killed him? Add in a nasty half brother who fought with Daniel over unionization in the mines several Pinkerton guards a deputy a group of miners with nothing to lose and some seedy characters who might've been in the mob you've got a well rounded cast of suspects As the tale unfolds we learn what happened in the past when Daniel and Marvena were closer and how Lily and Daniel fell in love and marriedTo start with this book combines two of my favorite genres mystery and historical fiction I loved learning about live nearly a century ago especially in a small town I've never been to Kinship is key and the author's forward and summary at the end about how she came up with this story was just as fascinating as the story itself I supported the miners but understood the town's fury and debate I loved how Lily became sheriff given some of the responsibilities but kept from others because she was a woman this showed the possibilities even 100 years ago While I don't condone what the town did to her at times knowing when this takes place it was a positive thing to see how she pushed forward Excellent characterizationThe bond between Marvena and Lilly was tremendous and it was not always easy uestions of love and infidelity lingered on the surface Family ties were strong and painful In the end the mystery kept me guessing and I was fairly sure whodunit but let me just say I never saw the twist coming So kudos to the author for keeping the suspense a most appropriate kind for 1920s rural America I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen to these wonderful people I'm very intrigued to read the second book and I definitely recommend this series so far


  3. says:

    Favorite uoteMama’s round face is so puckered with outrage that her mouth looks like the top of a drawstring purseMy ReviewI am in awe of this author this is her first novel and it was simply stellar The storytelling was commanding cunningly crafted enthralling emotive highly descriptive and smartly nuanced I was instantly sucked into her vortex and heard a multitude of sounds accents and dialects in my head I was right there with them riding in their cars feeling the dynamite blasts as well as their deep sorrows and smelling their sweat and fear The mystery was hopelessly intriguing and appeared an impossibly tangled knot that I feared was without hope for a solution I was so deeply engrossed in their tale I experienced the conflict of simultaneous relief and grief upon completion Jess Montgomery’s word voodoo packs a powerful punch and is dangerously hypnotic


  4. says:

    Life often demands doing contradictory things in exchange for survival Life in the Appalachian mining town of Kinship Ohio changed in the blink of an eye following a 1924 cave in resulting from an undetectable buildup of methane gas ignited by lightning John Rutherford Marvena Whitcomb's common law husband and Caleb McArthur Lily Ross's father died trying to rescue trapped miners in the Widowmaker Lily and Marvena would soon meet each other under less than ideal circumstancesLily Ross was jail mistress keeping prisoner records and assisting her husband extremely popular Sheriff Daniel Ross Daniel's half brother Luther owned and managed Ross Mining Miners lived in company housing and were paid in scrip in lieu of money to be used for purchases in the company store Workers who complained often were forced to vacate company housing units Luther hired Pinkertons thugs used an enforcers Sheriff Ross was sent by a Pinkerton to pick up and jail a prisoner who was a miner Daniel never returned Lily was informed that he was killed by the escaping prisonerLily and Marvena meet after Daniel's funeral Each woman has a connection to him What happened to the close honest marriage between Daniel and Lily? The uncomfortable relationship between these two strong minded determined women was ever changing Lily had been appointed acting sheriff until a new election This title would enable her to investigate Daniel's death Marvena would keep stirring up what her husband started the organization of mine workers Luther Ross with the backing of hired Pinkertons was not having itLily and Marvena had joined the sorrowful sisterhood of widows Will acting Sheriff Lily Ross glean the details of her husband's death? Will Marvena Whitcomb's attempts to organize mine workers be successful? Did Lily truly know Daniel? So many uestionsdeathsdisappearancesThe Widows by Jess Montgomery was a historical fiction debut novel loosely based upon the true story of Ohio's first female sheriff Maude Collins and activist Mother Jones Both Lily and Marvena were women crusaders fighting corruption and seeking justice I highly recommend this bookThank you St Martin's Press Minotaur Books and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review The Widows


  5. says:

    375 stars rounded up to 4 Thanks to Netgalley and StMartins Press for an e ARC in exchange for an honest review Described as a historical mystery The Widows is the beginning of a new series called Kinship set in the 1920's and featuring two captivating women Lily Ross who becomes sheriff of her Ohio town after the death of her husband; and Marvena Whitcomb a miner's widow who is an active member in the union movement Lily is bent on bringing vengenacnce down on her husband's killer Marvena is determined that the sheriff's brother in law be stopped from re opening the dangerous part of the coal mine known as the Widowmaker and finding out what happened to her teenage daughter Together the two women find themselves working together and standing up for justice The Widows is an engrossing tale that is impossible to put down I felt that our two main leads Lily and Marvena who both take turns with the narration really displayed the strong character of women in that time period to continue holding up their families after the deaths of their husbands Eually interesting is the author's note and the inspiration behind the tale A book that I would defintely recommend putting on your TBR


  6. says:

    The Hook Just give me fiction with the facts Ma'amThe Line “Life is hard Have tea” In addition there are many references to hymns ballads and songs which are much a part of the heritage of the people of the fictional town of Kinship Ohio these used in worship and comfort Be certain to read the author notes Precious Memories how they linger how they ever flood my soulThe Sinker My sincere thanks to Librarian blogger and trusted reviewer Lesa Holstine lesasbookcritiues for recommending The Widows Stop by and read Lesa's review here on GoodReads I've also discovered this interview with author Jess Montgomery on Bookpage Behind the Book The Widows Read the book read the author's inspiration visit Vinton County Ohio's webpageMaude Collins Ohio's First Female SheriffI really enjoy books like this featuring strong female characters who are pioneers as the first in careers formerly held only by men Like many females of her day Lily Ross was content even comfortable in her role as wife and mother Lily's extra duties as mistress of the jail headed by Sheriff Daniel Ross her husband was enough adventure outside the home 1920's Bronwyn County Ohio home to Company Mine #9 the Widowmaker impetus for Lily's appointment as acting sheriff when her husband is killed sets the backdrop of the interesting plot a story of life of love of sorrow of homeThe Widows a debut is a winner which should appeal to historical fiction lovers and fans of The Kopp Sisters Series by Amy Stewart There's room for two female sheriffs in my reading life Can't wait for the next in The Kinship Series Jess MontgomeryGrave of Maude Charles Collins


  7. says:

    This is a historical fiction and this is the first book in the Kinship series I loved this book It took place in 1924 in Ohio This book is about Lily trying to solve her husband who was the sheriff murder and Marvena a coal miner's widow want to solve the corruption at the heart of their town Lily becomes the sheriff after her husband is killed and she finds out her husband was not totally the man she thought he was Her and Marvena join together to find out who killed Lily's husband and fixed the corruption in their town This book was powerful and fast moving I won a copy of this book from a goodreads giveaway but this review is 100% my opinion Note This book was inspired by the true story of Ohio's first female sheriff Jess Montgomery


  8. says:

    The year is 1924 and Lilly Ross learns her husband Kinship's sheriff was killed while transporting a prisoner However just after the funeral a strange woman shows up not knowing that Daniel Ross is dead Marvena Whitcomb has known Daniel for years and now she's there to talk to him about her missing daughter Her husband was a coal miner who died a while back Both women have to deal with the loss of Daniel and they join forces to find out the truth about his deathREAD THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION


  9. says:

    A story of two courageous hard working and thoroughly admirable women this story is set in an Appalachian mining community where a mine called The Widowmaker has proven its name on three separate occasions The sisterhood of widows Such a sorrowful sisterhood Lily has joinedLily Ross Wife of the Sheriff Daniel Ross pregnant and with two young children she is widowed at the tender age of twenty six Approached by the deputy and offered the position of temporary sheriff Lily accepts She aims to find out how and why her beloved husband was killed They have underestimated Lily's strength and obstinacyMarvena Whitcomb Widow of a miner mother to two girls and former lover and lifelong friend of Daniel Ross The thirty five year old Marvena having suffered many losses due to the dire conditions in the mining industry is a union organizer She is also a moonshiner during the lean years of prohibition So many believe women are too sensitive for life's brutal truths That's only Lily thinks because they've not experienced the brutal truths life gives particularly and uniuely to womenThe women overcome mistrust to merge together to combat desperate conditions and corrupt men of power And most importantly to find out the hows and whys of Daniel Ross's murderMY THOUGHTSIt is obvious that Jess Montgomery didn't stint on her meticulous research She crafted two fictional woman who became flesh and blood to the reader Vividly described places and situations expound on the extreme poverty and resilience of the coal mining families in the 1920s A time when the 'company' owned the houses the miners lived in owned the schools the children attended employed the only doctor for miles and owned the store the miners shopped at It was a time when young boys worked in the mines as early as the age of eleven Also it was a time when the Pinkerton Agency was just a band of 'thugs for hire'The women overcome the odds in a time when women had little if any socioeconomic power In addition to the dangerous and downright criminal practices of the mining company they expose kickbacks organized criminals and murder All the while tending to their children cooking cleaning and These women will remain in my memory for a very long timeThis fiction debut by author Jess Montgomery proves that she has a writing talent to be reckoned with and should be a firm favorite of all lovers of historical fiction Highly recommendedI received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from MinotaurSt Martin's Press via NetGalley in order to participate in a TLC Blog Tour 45 stars rounded up for Goodreads


  10. says:

    This is the first of a series that introduces Lily and Marvena Lily's husband Daniel the sheriff has been killed The town elders ask Lily to step in and underestimate her will smarts and drive to find out who has murdered Daniel Marvena's husband has also died but she too has a past with Daniel Their lives intersect during this time of unions and coal mining prohibition and moonshine Lily proves to be as formidable and does not step into the role of sheriff lightlyThis story was inspired by the true life story of Ohio's first female sheriff who also came into her role through the death of her husband The historical realism of this time period is phenomenal Anyone familiar with the Appalachian area will recognize the food particular to that region The poverty and perils of the coal mines and those that worked them and their families come to life and we feel their apprehension as they secretly try to unionizeThis is a different period piece for the 1920's and I highly recommend it The characters are well developed and so true to life I was happy to read that Jess Montgomery already has the second book in the series published and has ideas for the third