Mother Jones Book Review

Mother Jones Book Review
Jerry Ash’s Hellraiser—Mother Jones: An Historical Novel is a book that takes us on a journey through the life of the feisty Mother Jones. The author chose to write the story from Mother Jones’s perspective and in the present tense. I felt that was a smart choice for this novel; it really pulls the reader into her mind and makes it feel like we’re there as the story is unfolding.

It’s clear to me that Ash has done an extensive amount of research in order to write this novel, and he finds a way to bring that to life for readers. Not only is there great detail on historical events during Jones’s lifetime, he paints a vivid picture of what daily life was actually like during this time. There were many sad, horrifying, but also touching and uplifting scenes in this book that I won’t forget.

I appreciate Ash’s attention to detail in printing. The typeface is easy to read and looks nice, the leading (the spacing between the lines of print) is good, and there's enough room inside the gutter (the inside margins) that the words don't run into it. He had the reader in mind when he and his publisher made typographical decisions for the book.

The book seemed to have a political bias toward the left, which could bother more conservative readers. I noticed it throughout the book, but especially in the last chapter, where Mother Jones, in spirit, draws parallels between today’s economic conditions and yesteryear’s. It was interesting and eye-opening to learn those facts, but in that chapter it was hard to suspend my disbelief and pretend that Mother Jones might be saying those things; I was clearly reading the author’s opinions. I don’t mind reading his thoughts, but I wish they hadn’t been framed as Mother Jones’s.

Hellraiser is written in a way that is accessible for a wide range of ages and abilities, and would appeal to historical fiction lovers, readers interested in learning about Mother Jones or the industrial revolution, or readers who just love to read. I knew almost nothing about Mother Jones when I started the book, and I'm glad I've now been introduced to such a courageous, inspiring woman.

Note: The author provided a copy of Hellraiser—Mother Jones: An Historical Novel to me free of charge.

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