The Book Borrower by Alice Mattison

bookborrower For those of you who have an e-Reader, enjoy stories about women, and have an interest in history, I would like to recommend “The Book Borrower” by Alice Mattison. A book within a book, this novel’s two storylines center on the friendship of two contemporary women and the labor movement in the 1920’s. I was first attracted by the book’s historical storyline which includes events revolving around a trolley car strike and a heroine fashioned in the image of Emma Goldman. Gussie Lipkin, a working class, Jewish girl becomes involved with the labor movement and actively supports striking trolley car workers. Tragedy occurs when scab workers operate the trolley line; a young girl is killed and Gussie is accused of the crime. The victim is Gussie’s own little sister. Prior to reading “The Book Borrower” I didn’t realize that trolley car strikes in the early 20th century resulted in deaths and hundreds of injuries. I was intrigued by the history lesson, but I found that the long term modern-day friendship of Deborah and Toby held my interest even more.

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