Book Glow, Book Review, Historical, Romance

Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich

“No one had ever been there when she needed them.”

1917. Copper Camp of Butte, Montana.  Growing up as an orphan and losing her twin sister to a murder at the age of 10, Kaly Shane had a lot of ghosts and a lot of secrets.  Over the years she tried to live a decent life, but now as a prostitute living on her own in a destitute area of town, she finds herself pregnant by the man who murdered her sister.  But did he?  What really happened that night and what secrets will she find out about her family?

“They wanted her to marry a man she had never met.” 

Back in the Balkans Marika Lailich’s grandmother, Baba, taught her how to heal and Marika’s only wish was to become a doctor, but her father has other plans for her life.  At seventeen, Marika does not want to marry a union man for the mines.  She “has no intention of giving up her dreams, not to feed the Company fodder, which oppressed the men and fueled the mines.”  How can she convince the town and her papa that she is serious about healing?  What does Marika’s future hold?

Though the novel is a work of fiction, the mining disasters depicted were real.  The description of the mining town, the sounds and smells, the disasters, and the lives of the families are very explicit and detailed.  Ms. Marsenich tells a wonderful tale about two women from different backgrounds and the hardships of prostitution, the dangers of mining, pre-arranged marriages and trying to survive in a man’s world.  If you like historical fiction with a bit of romance, you will enjoy this early depiction of copper mining in Montana.

Thank you to Ms. Marsenich and Bookglow for giving me the opportunity to review this book!


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library~moderns~copper-sky~about-author~~element394Milana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana near Flathead Lake at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. She enjoys quick access to the mountains and has spent many hours hiking the wilderness trails with friends and dogs. For the past 20 years she has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. As a natural listener and a therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. She first witnessed this in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for Copper Sky. She has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, The Polishing Stone, and Feminist Studies. She has a short story included in The Montana Quarterly book Montana, Warts and All, The Best From Our First Decade. Copper Sky is her first novel.


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