The Lawrence History Center patiently answered my questions while I was researching my novel, and they also sent the novel to some labor scholars who work with them. I was delighted to get the following review from Dexter Arnold, a longtime labor movement worker and member of the United Association of Labor Educators:
I’m so glad I finally had a chance to read Joanna Hoyt’s Cracked Reflections. It’s a beautifully written, thought-provoking exploration of workers’ lives and the 1912 labor struggles.
There’s no need to quibble over minor corrections about the Lawrence struggle and the timeline of the strikes that followed. The book is fiction, but it’s captivating fiction that’s framed effectively by what happened in Lawrence. The book captures the essence of those strikes as well as workers’ lives on the job and in their communities. Hoyt’s use of German and Italian phrases underscores the mill towns’ multi-ethnic reality as does her addressing ethnic tensions and biases as well as cooperation.
My only criticism – and it’s a serious one – is that Cracked Reflections should be promoted and it should be more readily available in paperback.
(I am still politely hassling my publishers about paperback availability–I also would like that to happen. And one of these days I may figure out the art of promotion. In the meantime, it’s delightful to see that someone who really knows the time and the movement has read my book and found it good.