Reviews tagging Racism

The Factory Witches of Lowell, by C.S. Malerich

2 reviews

faenairth's review

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adventurous hopeful tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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katherinenzr's review

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fast-paced
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

1.0

The Factory Witches of Lowell is a spirited look at the Lowell Mill Girls that were so prominent in the 1800s. It starts when two close friends (and I mean that in the sapphic sense) resort to witchcraft in order to strike against the unfair working conditions in the mills (after all, with everyone bound together by magic, no one can break the strike), and follows them through to the end of their collective action. This book has all my favorite things; witchcraft, unions, lesbians, and local flavor (as someone who grew up not too far from Lowell, I’ve always been fascinated by the mill girls). 

Saying all that, I expected to like this book much more than I did. I think it suffers somewhat from being a novella. While it’s a great idea, very little of it is actually fleshed out. Parts that should hold emotional weight fly by too quickly to actually resonate. Additionally, the way this book talks about genius (the essence if human life) in how it relates to slavery is...at best misguided and at worse actually dehumanizing. And it comes up multiple times for virtually no reason.

Additionally, I felt like the length of the book and the neatness of the ending did a disservice to the actual girls who faced these horrible working conditions.

Update: After seeing the finished copy, and thinking about it a lot, and reading up on the author I'm changing my rating because the way the book handles genius in relation to slavery is actually actively dehumanizing. The life force of enslaved people is equated to that of domestic farm animals. The line is unnecessary and could easily have been cut.

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