The Mill of Lost Dreams is a story of love, friendship and sacrifice that provides an inside view into the world of textile mills and the daily life of seven courageous souls who leave home and risk everything for their shared dream of a better life: Angelina and Guido Wallabee, who have left their family’s failed farm in Italy; eleven-year-old Miranda Alysworth and her fifteen-year-old brother, Francois, who have escaped from indentured service in Canada; twins Phoebe and Charlie Dougherty, the children of Irish immigrant parents, who, though not yet thirteen, are forced to work in Troy Mill to support their family after their father’s untimely death; and eleven-year-old, Anne Kenny, an orphan who’s never known where she came from. All but one take jobs in Troy Mill in Fall River.
Over the course of seven decades, there are marriages, births, secrets exposed, friendships tested, and innocence lost. Some succeed in making a new life away from harm but pay a terrible price. Many cannot build the life they dreamed of and the consequences impact and shape the lives of their children—and their children’s children.
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From the blurb, I knew this book was likely to be one I’d enjoy, but I wasn’t prepared to love it quite as much as I did.
The story takes place over a number of decades, spanning from the 1840s right up to the 1970s, and follows the lives of seven key characters, all of whom have a link to Troy Mill - a cotton mill situated on Fall River in Massachusetts, USA.
Spanning such a vast time period, I had wondered if I’d find the story a little tough to get through. It would have been very easy for the author to either rush through it, bodging it entirely, or instead to drag it out painfully slowly. In actual fact I was really impressed with how perfectly paced the book was and found myself hooked from beginning to end, racing through it relatively quickly, always keen to read on.
It took me no time at all to get used to the author’s writing style and I found the book very easy to read. The characters she created really came alive and each time anyone new was introduced I found myself immediately attached to them and invested in their part of the story. I felt that Rohda was very clever in how she interlinked the characters’ storylines, making every detail and relationship both relevant and touching.
I would recommend this book to all lovers of historical fiction. It’s one that I feel will stick with me for a long time to come and has quickly become one of my top-reads.
Thank you to She Writes Press for sending me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All of the opinions expressed here are my own and are genuine. The Mill Of Lost Dreams will be released on August 11th.