SWIMMING IN THE MOON
In her second novel Schoenewaldt again tackles the issues and history of the women’s labor movement and the bitter fight for fair treatment of women and children. The strong characters and turbulent backdrop add power and passion to the shifting relationship between a mother and daughter as they are caught up in a changing world.
After fleeing the Naples villa where they were servants, Lucia D’Angelo and her mother, Teresa, arrive in cold Cleveland to become part of a growing society of immigrants. Finding work is their first priority. Teresa parleys her singing talent into working in Vaudeville while Lucia becomes part of the fledging labor movement. Always taking a back seat to her mother, Lucia is thrust into the role of leader as she strives to improve conditions in the factories and workhouses for young women and girls. When Teresa’s past plunges mother and daughter into a fight with old demons, their roles are reversed. Lucia must find her voice and the courage to build a new life. (MORROW, Sep., 337 pp., $14.99)