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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
In Blood Creek: The Mingo Chronicles by Kimberly Collins, Ellie Chafin has never been a woman who wanted to settle down and live a normal life that consisted of taking care of her husband and having children. Despite being married to an older, kind man named Tom, Ellie falls for Matawan’s chief of police and an extended affair begins. Once she finds out she’s pregnant with another man's child, she tries to get him to abandon his wife so the two could run away from West Virginia and spend the rest of their lives together. This dream is soon shattered when she finds out that Walter’s wife is pregnant too. In an attempt to have Tom arrested on unknown grounds, Tom shoots the police chief and mayor dead in his front yard.
I think that Kimberly Collins did a wonderful job in writing Blood Creek. It’s a very descriptive historical fiction tale that shows Collins did extensive research. I also liked how she added actual excerpts from speeches that Mother Jones gave during the strikes. It was a very heart-wrenching tale about a part of history that I feel is so easily overlooked. It’s definitely a subject that I didn’t know much about. After reading Blood Creek, I’ve found myself interested in learning more about the history of these strikes and Mother Jones. The characters were very well written; both those based on real living people and those who were made up. Ellie is definitely a girl who was ahead of her time. She dared to want more for herself than to be a simple housewife and raising children. Her sister Jolene and her cousin Polly are two other characters who are beautifully written and seem unlike most women of their time. I am eager to continue on with the Mingo Chronicles and am definitely looking more into the history of the coal miner strikes.