Temperatures approaching 0 degrees Celsius. Snow on the ground. Strong winds. It’s looking like winter didn’t take any time off this year, Savvy Readers. If you’re looking for an amazing book to curl up with, preferably under a warm blanket and with an even warmer drink, we have the perfect book for you!
This week’s My Book Pledge Featured Read is The Cold Millions by Jess Walter, the bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins and The Financial Lives of the Poets! Crossing the traditional borders of literary fiction, historical fiction, and western, The Cold Millions is the perfect read for fans of The Sisters Brothers, Manhattan Beach, News of the World, and even Moonglow. An intimate story of brotherhood, love, sacrifice, and betrayal, The Cold Millions offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of a world grappling with the chasm between rich and poor, between harsh realities and simple dreams. And, despite the early-twentieth-century setting, The Cold Millions is eerily reminiscent of the challenges we face as a world today.
The Dolan brothers live by their wits. Jumping freight trains, lining up for day work at crooked job agencies, and bouncing from place to place are all common events for the brothers. While sixteen-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his older brother, Gig, dreams of a better world, fighting alongside union men for fair pay and decent treatment at work. When their lives cross paths with Ursula the Great, a vaudeville singer who performs with a live cougar, the brothers are introduced to a far more dangerous create: a mining magnate determined to keep his wealth and his hold on Ursula.
Enter Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, a fearless, nineteen-year-old activist and feminist. Rye, skeptical of Gig’s idealistic outlook on the world, finds himself drawn to Elizabeth. But, in the midst of these romances and fight for equality, a storm is imminent – a storm that threatens to overwhelm them all. In the end, Rye will be forced to decide where he stands: is it enough to win the occasional battle, even if you cannot win the war?
Featuring an unforgettable cast of cops and tramps, suffragists and socialists, madams and murderers, The Cold Millions is a remarkably woven tale of two brothers swept up in the turbulent class warfare of the early twentieth century. Much like Beautiful Ruins, The Cold Millions is a tremendously written, beautifully told novel that will appeal to readers of all kinds.
The Cold Millions by Jess Walter is this week’s My Book Pledge Featured Read! Add it to your shelf today.