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The Daring Ladies of Lowell

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  6,761 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews
From the best-selling author of The Dressmaker comes the warm-hearted and enthralling saga of a bold young woman caught between two worlds-the vibrant camaraderie of factory life and the opulence that a budding romance with the mill owner's son affords-as the murder of her best friend sends shock waves throughout the town.

Determined to forge her own destiny, Alice Barrow j
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Doubleday (first published January 1st 2014)
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Yvonne (Fiction Books) I did a bit of research about both men and I have to say that, looking at the dates both men started up their respective mill enterprises, Samuel…moreI did a bit of research about both men and I have to say that, looking at the dates both men started up their respective mill enterprises, Samuel Slater was ahead of Francis Cabot by a good few years!(less)

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3.60  · 
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 ·  6,761 ratings  ·  1,069 reviews

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Mar 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
I don't like reviewing books poorly--it makes me a feel a little guilty, since anyone writing and publishing a book is a huge accomplishment. And since I only rate and review books I actually finish, they aren't a whole lot of one-stars in my collection. If I make it all the way through, it has to be at least okay, right?

This book just really didn't do it for me. I was looking forward to it, too, because the synopsis seemed right up my alley--a murder of a "loose" mill girl rocks the small, 1800
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
This storyline sounded so interesting as it promised to examine the working conditions of female employees in a Boston area cotton mill and the real life historical account of the murder of one of those women. However, the author then decides to concentrate on a "other side of the tracks romance" between one of the mill workers and the heir to the cotton mill business. I hate that type of masquerade!
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
My love for historical fiction focused on the labor movement began with Denise Giardina’s Storming Heaven. Since reading that novel (almost twenty-five years ago now!), my bookstore radar has led me to other novels treating similar themes. The newest such novel I’ve encountered is Kate Alcott’s The Daring Ladies of Lowell, and it’s a lovely addition to the genre.

You may or may not be familiar with the Lowell textile mills. As a quilter with a love of reproduction textiles (fabrics based on swatc
Sharon Huether
I won this free book through Goodreads-first-reads. The author made this story so alive with the dialogue between the mill girls and all the characters in the story. Friends are forever; thats what the author brought out. I felt I was in their presence. The girls that worked in the mill had to fight for reform,health and safety too. This book is movie material. I love the story.
Ann Woodbury Moore
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed Alcott's first novel, "The Dressmaker," about the Titanic, although parts were exaggerated or unbelievable. Her second story, "The Daring Ladies of Lowell," is set in 1832-1833 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and features young, hopeful, naive Alice Barrow. Alice joins many other women in their 20's and 30's who labor in the cotton mills, desiring freedom from overbearing families and tedious farm chores. She appreciates the independence and income she receives, along with friendships and ed ...more
First and foremost, thank you Sharon H. for the recommendation. “The Daring Ladies of Lowell” was a surprisingly engaging read - an equitable blend of historical relevance, characterization, mystery, and romance. Not overly studious but yet not trite and sappy.

I do want to point out, Alcott took extensive creative liberties with time-stamps and factual events. However, it didn't detract from conveying the poor working conditions and dangers common to mid-nineteenth century "mill-girls" and the
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott is a Doubleday/ Random House publication set for release in February 2014. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Alice Barrow wished to become an independent woman. She leaves her family's farm against the wishes of her father , in 1832 and begins work in the textile industry. Being a "mill girl" proves much more difficult than Alice had anticipated. However, she does make friends with the other
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mommy-s-shelf
I was really hoping for more with this book. I enjoyed the beginning, and looked forward to getting to know the characters better throughout the book, but by the late middle, I was bored. Some of the descriptions of life in the 1830's were very well done, but I also wished that the HISTORICAL part of "historical fiction" was emphasized more, in terms of the characters in the book (the author admits that most of them were made up!)...quite a few scenarios seemed far fetched in this book t0 say th ...more
Diane Barnes
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
The setting of this book was 1832. Pretty sure tractors and wristwatches were not around at that time. If you're going to attempt historical fiction, do some research.

“Children should have some warning, some way of knowing it was dangerous to look out at the world with unguarded pleasure. But who would want to tell them, to deprive them of those few moments of blissful ignorance that would have to last a lifetime?”

One of the reasons that led me to read this book was:
"Alice is cast in the mold of a character created by an earlier Alcott, the passionate and spunky Jo March. A refreshingly old-fashioned heroine" by The New York Times.
Although the main character
Oct 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
I decided to read this because I am currently doing a textile conservation internship in one of the old mill buildings in Northern MA. I thought the subject and setting of the book sounded perfect for me and intriguing. I also hoped it would shed a bit of light on what shaped the spaces I now inhabit. Coming from a bestselling author, perhaps my expectations were too high. To echo another reviewer of this book, I hate giving poor reviews, "since anyone writing and publishing a book is a huge acc ...more
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The Daring Ladies of Lowell was a great read that brings attention to the working conditions of the mill girls of Lowell. Taking some historical details and making a fictional story featuring characters that the reader comes to care about really makes these horrific conditions more real. Alice moves to Lowell to become a mill girl in an attempt to escape farm life and finds a true friend in Lovey, another mill girl who happens to be a bit wild and unpredictable. This friendship allows Alice to r ...more
Sep 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
I started this book several months ago and couldn't get into it so I set it aside. I was at the library and saw it in the audio books section so I decided to give it a try that way. Nope, still as dull and on top of that, I didn't like the narrator's style at all for the audio book. So, I'm giving up on this one for good and am afraid I cannot recommend it to anyone.
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

This author used to write textbooks for the public school system. I read a few reviews before starting this book. Many complained the author did not do research before writing a historical fiction. Others bashed it for being stereotypically romantic.

Because I usually read historical romance, not historical fiction, I found it not stereotypical. There were very few romantic scenes and nothing happened beyond a kiss and one Waltz.

Personally I did not find this book predictable at all. I l
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who like history mixed with romance
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Edelweiss
Kate Alcott's second historical novel, The Daring Ladies of Lowell is set in the town of Lowell, Massachusetts during the 1830s. Lowell is one of the East Coast towns that were famous for the cloth mills that populated the area and were infamous for their "sweatshop" conditions. Alice Barrow is a farm girl who travels to Lowell to begin work in the mill. Once she has found a dormitory with an extra space, she settles in and begins her career as one of the "mill girls".

There were several things
Holly Weiss
Alice Barrow leaves home to become a mill girl so that she can send money home to her father and never have to work on a farm again. Quickly she learns this decision will have challenging implications for her life when:

• A ten-year-old bobbin girl cries herself to sleep.
• Alice has no time to wash when 4:30 am wakeup bell sounds.
• Thirteen hour days leave her as crushed as a bug underfoot.
• Alice has to pay a fee to be trotted out on display when President Jackson visits.
• A young girl coughs up
Sep 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book because I like the period and the setting. I was disappointed. The author notes that she took some license (story is 1832 but the Lowell Offering was not published until some years later). However, there are other historical inaccuracies such as a reference to a farm tractor (without any qualifier), sending out a posse (the word existed at that time, but would it have been used in Massachusetts in 1832?), and mailing a postcard (earliest known postcard was sent, in Eng ...more
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Too sappy and predictable for my taste.
Elizabeth ♛Smart Girls Love Trashy Books♛

This is another review that I want to keep short, as I don't have very much to say about this book.

I didn't really like it. Granted, I didn't hate it-it was about a subject in history I don't know very much about, and I liked SCENES in the book, but I didn't like the overall execution of this book.

It was written by a former journalist, and it shows. Things just happened in this book without much weight to them. It was more of a collection of events than an actual book, and
Mar 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott to be fantastic historical fiction.
The story is centered around women working in Lowell in 1832 in a mill. I think the Industrial Revolution is a fascinating time period as so much was going on during that time in history.

The main character, Alice Barrow, has left life on the farm with dreams of making her own money and helping her father out. When she arrives at the boarding house where the women mill workers are housed, she is intimidated but
Tara Chevrestt
She would find a way. One foot in front of the other, that would be how she would do it.

1830. When you think of life approximately 30 years before the American Civil War, you think of spoiled southern belles who rarely leave their plantations, let alone work. This was a shock to me, this story. I had no idea women were actually working in mills during this time. But really, I feel silly now for not having realized it sooner. But what happened to the cotton after the slaves worked it on the plant
This was such a great book, it’s not only the story of the ladies that worked at the Lowell Mills but also a murder mystery, fabulously written by the author and fantastically narrated by Cassandra Campbell.

This was a fascinating look at the working conditions of the cotton mills of Lowell, how sick these girls got because the windows were closed and their lungs would fill up with so much cotton they would cough up balls of cotton. How awful is that? Also the machinery isn’t in the greatest cond
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Based on the early 19th century true story of a murdered mill girl in Lowell, Massachusetts and told from the viewpoint of fictional mill girl Alice Barrow. Alice leaves the farm and an abusive father for what she hopes is a better, independent life working in a textile mill in Lowell. She earns and saves her own money and makes friends with the other girls who have arrived at the mill for the same reasons as Alice. Her best friend is Sarah Cornell, nicknamed Lovey. Lovey is kind, generous, free ...more
Kelli Oliver George
May 24, 2014 rated it liked it
The content of this period fascinates me -- I've seen BBC's North and South several times over and it never gets old (bonus! Brandon Coyle is in this movie -- how exciting it was that he went to Downton Abbey as Mr. Bates)


My main issue with this book was the events seemed contrived and unrealistic. Would a mill girl really have the freedom to be jaunting back and forth between Boston and Lowell like that? And at one point, the mills were portrayed as harsh and akin to slave encampment, b
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I won this book in a GOOD READS FIRST READS GIVEAWAY! I thought it was very good at telling some of the history of the Lowell Mills intertwined in a mystery. I want to look into more about these mills and what the women went through.

The mystery was of a sad story but not unlike anything we have heard of before, a very sad situation. I loved all of the characters of the girls that worked there.

All in all if you like historical, mystery, a little romance, and a fight for women's rights, you will
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book reminded me why I normally dodge historical fiction. I was drawn to this one--like a moth to one of those bug-zappers--by the interesting subject matter. It's based on the actual murder of a mill girl back in the early 1800s, but the writing was meh and the love story was double meh. The characters were a little flat and one-dimensional and the voice of the actress reading it (I listened to a recording) made it all sound really melodramatic. Redeeming qualities: Gertrude Fisk, and the ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Waste of time. I read a lot of trash books. #youngadultfiction4lyfe. However, I do that with the expectation to only be amused or distracted, not with the expectation of experiencing literature, deeper insights into society, life, love or any other more meaningful reflections.

But seriously. I couldn't even get more than trivially interested in the love story... which is the point of a trashy romance, no?
Marilynn Mullen
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-discussion
I really loved this book as I grew up in Manchester, NH which also had cotton mills along the Merrimack River. I'm familiar with Lowell, MA and have been in the old mill buildings that are now apartments. But I'm happy to report my book group also loved the book. They felt it was a good mix of history, characters, events and a romance to top it off. We had a lot to talk about.
May 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
This was our May book club selection, I like historical books both fiction and non-fiction. The Daring Ladies of Lowell is the story of mill workers in the 1830's in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was not unusual for girls to leave their farms to work in the mills and send most of their earnings back home. The beginning starts with Alice Barrow arriving in Lowell and describes arising at 4:30 each morning to start a 16 hour day at the mill. The working conditions are extremely difficult, but there is ...more
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I like the message, and I like the idea, but the author simply could not bring it to life. This book had so many two-dimensional characters, I felt nothing for any of them. The author also jumped from one characters train of thought to another so often, that none of those thoughts actually mattered. I read this book like I’d floss my teeth, completely uninterested and feeling overwhelmed by the tedious task at hand. Like I said, this is a great idea but do you really expect me to actually care a ...more
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The R.E.A.D. Book...: September 2017 -- The Daring Ladies of Lowell 31 11 Sep 30, 2017 07:45PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Apr 25, 2017 11:34AM  
Literary Alliance : The Daring Ladies of Lowell Discussion Thread 1 1 Mar 07, 2017 08:35AM  
Motive 1 11 Feb 26, 2016 07:00AM  
Cranbury Public L...: July 22 - The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott 2 9 Jul 13, 2015 01:10PM  

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Kate Alcott is the pseudonym for journalist Patricia O’Brien, who has written several books, both fiction and nonfiction. As Kate Alcott, she is the author of The Dressmaker (a New York Times bestseller), The Daring Ladies of Lowell, and A Touch of Stardust. She lives in Washington, D.C.
“Children should have some warning, some way of knowing it was dangerous to look out at the world with unguarded pleasure. But who would want to tell them, to deprive them of those few moments of blissful ignorance that would have to last a lifetime?” 4 likes
“I like my life now," she said. "I don't need it to change."
"But it is changing," Benjamin Stanhope said, "None of us can hold things where we want them to be. It is all slipping and changing, Alice.”
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