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A Snug Life Somewhere
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A Snug Life Somewhere

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  16 ratings  ·  8 reviews
A Snug Life Somewhere is about Penny Joe Copper, daughter of a roustabout shingle weaver, who is caught up in a 1916 union tragedy known as the Everett Massacre. Her brother Horace is killed, as is the cousin of a radical organizer, Gabe. When her love affair with Marcel, a music student seven years her junior, is thwarted, she is pulled into Gabeas campaign to avenge the ...more
Paperback, 238 pages
Published December 18th 2006 by Publish America
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Sep 02, 2014 KOMET rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with enjoys novels with a social history theme
This novel is of a life lived by Penny Joe Copper, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest and came of age during the labor unions' struggles of the 1910s. As a reader, I am not overly fond of novels that are "narrator-driven." I prefer for the novelist to present a full cast of characters who are free to express themelves, and so breathe life into the novel. So, when I began reading "A Snug Life", it was somewhat slow-going for me, with Penny Joe as narrator. But at the same time, I was being give ...more
Penny Joe Cooper grew up in Washington during the early 1900's. Her father was part of union politics there, as the Seattle and Everett cities were early union strongholds. When Penny is in her early twenties, he is sent to prison on manslaughter charges when a fire set during a union protest turned deadly. Penny's only brother, Horace, also gets caught up in union politics and is killed in what is known as the Everett Massacre.

Penny is left adrift to find her way in the world. She is in love wi
Sharon Chance
I really enjoy books that teach me something that I didn't know, and author Jan Shapin's "A Snug Life Somewhere" did just that.

In this fascinating historical fiction Shapin tells the story of one young woman's struggle to find her identity as well as a little love in her life and is set against the background the country's most intriguing and violent era - Pre World War I and the time when unions were beginning to rise up in the United States.

Told through the voice of Peggy Joe Copper, this no
My brother died on November 5, 1916. This is the first sentence of Jan Shapin’s A Snug Life Somewhere. It’s straight to the point, brutally honest, and dropped a bombshell.

Sometimes you come across a book that blows you away and you need several minutes to put your feelings into words. You then wonder whether your review adequately quantify the brilliance of the book. A Snug Life Somewhere did just that.

The relationship between Penny Joe Copper and Marcel is scandalous; it’s complicated with a t
I found the first half of this book slow going, as though the author was trying to cram too much history into the story. As the story unfolded, I was caught up in following Penny's life. Perhaps Shapin meant to be a bit disjointed, as it the story is told as though an old lady is telling her life story, a bit long winded. The violence, including bombing, surrounding the cause of unions and a socialist society, appeared to be more like the freedom fighters of today than we would care to remember. ...more
I picked up this book because I really like the cover. I was interested in the story because I have an ancestor who is said to have been killed during a labor organizing event in Chicago about the same era as this. So learning more about the motivations and events of this time leading up to WWI appealed to me.

I did feel like a learned a lot about this period, which is one of the things I look for when I read historical fiction. I’d never heard of the Everett Massacre specifically, or at least no
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Opening in 1916, this rich novel follows the life of Penny Joe Copper, a young woman from Everett, WA. Born into a union family of shingle weavers, Penny Joe's life is dominated by the labor movement when first her father, and then her brother, become heroes of the cause. She's swept into the movement herself by accident and the machinations of Gabe Rabinowitz, a ruthless organizer, and finds herself going from being a photo op to revolutionary, almost without being aware of it. But as she grows ...more
An ok book. Enjoyed history of labor movement and the machinations involved but felt theme was repetitive,
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Jan Shapin is the author of two novels as well as several plays and screenplays. She has attended Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, Sewanee Writers' Conference, The Film and Television Workshop as well as various other writing programs. She is a member of the Cape Cod Writers' Center. You can reach her at or through her publisher, Write Words. Inc.
More about Jan Shapin...
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