Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens -- and the five children of the Novak family -- the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hym...more
I enjoyed reading about a small town and the unique life led by those who live in company houses, shop at the company store, and basically live an ...more
Life in a small industrial town isn't heaven as novelists have told us before. Haigh tells an interesting story involving the members of a Italian/Polish family from the WWII years into the 1960's. Her characters, particularly those who are female, are well developed and the events are quite believable. Literally or figuratively no one escapes alive.
A sense of rootedness covers everyone like a blanket of coal dust covers the town. All success i ...more
So interesting how I came to read THIS novel by Jennifer Haigh. Katie recommended "Faith," which was out in the library. However, as I searched for it, I found "Baker Towers" and "The Condition." "The Condition" sounded better to me, but then I thought, "Oh maybe Mom would like 'Baker Towers'." So I took out both. Coincidently, when I next checked my emails, I somehow stumbled upon Katie's positive review of "Baker Towers." I loved it for many reasons. Let me count the ways:
1. It's a good family ...more
It turne ...more
...Bakerton, Pennsylvania is made up of residents who are Swedish, Polish, and Italian immigrants, with the coal mine employing a good majority. In the Novak family, the home is traditional to the time and place. Rose and Stanley, first-generations to America, live in Polish Hill in company-owned housing. Rose, an Italian wife and mother, remains at home to take care of their five children, and her Polish husband, Stanley, w ...more
Anyone who knows me understands my intense need for character development.
This book has it. That characters are unique, realistic, and provide insight into humanity.
We follow the journey of a family who has just lost their patriarch in a mid 20th century small coal mining town. We see how much coal mining effects the culture a town of immigrants.
If you are looking for a plot, there is little to be found here.
Instead is realistic account of people. Humans trying to surv ...more
The book opens with the image of a train snaking its way through the town: “rows of company houses, narrow and square; a main street of commercial buildings, quickly and cheaply built.” It provides us with the typical image of an industry town, with the American Dream just around the corner. The train carries coal down the mountain, through the valley, and into the homes of an America at war. The story tells us about the lives of th ...more
In describing Bakerton, Haigh ac ...more
The town was divided between the Polish and the Italians, with each immigrant population tending to live near each other. The Novaks were an exception, since mother Rose was Italian and father Stanley was Polish. They had five children. The three older siblings struggled to find their way in the world, strictly ...more
There is much merit in reconstructing a Pennsylvania miners’ town in the fifties. Attempting to create an interesting novel within the confines of conservative times and settings demands cons ...more
OMG. can't wait to read Mrs. Kimble.
Haigh's critically acclaimed debut novel MRS. KIMBLE ...more