The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash

The Last Ballad

The author of the celebrated bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events, that chronicles an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice, with the emotional power of Ron Rash’s Serena, Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, and the...


Details The Last Ballad

TitleThe Last Ballad
ISBN9780062313133
Author
Release DateOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherWilliam Morrow
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, American, Southern
Rating

Reviews The Last Ballad

  • Angela M
    1970-01-01
    Wiley Cash is a storyteller who captures both my mind and my heart. He has written three novels, three different stories but all bearing in common Wiley's beautiful writing as well as an uncanniness for depicting the human condition under circumstances that chill us as readers. His writing takes you exactly where he wants you to be - to the place, to the moment, into the thoughts of these characters. Each of his novels take place in North Carolin...
  • Will Byrnes
    1970-01-01
    Ella stared west. She imagined the great mountains foggy and raindamp in the distance, the blue ridges rolling away in great swells. She opened her mouth, paused for a moment, gathered the story of her life around her as she would lift the hem of a long dress before stepping across a stream. She did not think, did not stop to look at [anyone]. She simply began to speak. Events and people have a way of disappearing when they do not suit the narrat...
  • Diane S ☔
    1970-01-01
    What would you do if you were in your late twenties, already have had for children and now a new one on the way. Your husband has left you, you are now poor and alone, living in a shack in the black section of town. You, yourself are not black nor are your children, but they have proven to be wonderful friends, one named Violet you call your best friend. In order to feed your children, you work at a textile mill, 60-70 hour work weeks, making onl...
  • Cheri
    1970-01-01
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !! “We leave our homes in the morningWe kiss our children goodbyeWhile we slave for the bossesOur children scream and cryBut understand all, workersOur union they do fearLet's stand together, workersAnd have a union here "A Mill Mother's Lament" – Ella May Wiggins “Saturday, May 4, 1929””Ella May knew she wasn’t pretty, had always know it. She didn’t have to come all the way down the mountain from Tennessee to Besse...
  • Karen
    1970-01-01
    Wonderful novel based on the true life of Ella Mae Wiggins, a poverty stricken mill worker at the Loray Mill in North Carolina, 1929. She helped to try and form a union, specially an integrated union in a time when people didn’t accept blacks.This woman had so much courage to leave her job to work on union matters when she had little ones at home that she could barely feed. Such a tragic story that touched my heart. I went online after finishin...
  • Sue
    1970-01-01
    I have read all of Wiley Cash's books and I while I definitely enjoyed the first two, The Last Ballad, his third book, is definitely my favorite. The writing is so beautiful that I read the book slowly so I could savor his words. I felt like I was part of the action and could clearly see the scenes he set in this novel. The characters were so well done that I felt their pain as they worked to bring better pay and working conditions into the NC te...
  • Asheley
    1970-01-01
    When I first saw the advanced copies for The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash being circulated months ago, I got so excited. His books are among my very-favorites. His stories are always so layered and his characters sometimes seem so straightforward but they’re actually really complex. And I love the way they’re set in the dusty, gritty parts of North Carolina, which is my home.The Last Ballad is a fiction story that is based on real history and re...
  • Sharon Metcalf
    1970-01-01
    People belong to unions today but doing so carries virtually no risk - at least not in Australia. In years gone by it was seen by some as a chore, a compulsory deduction from our pay. More recently people opt in because their fees are tax deductible so why not. For others it's a matter of principle, knowing the way unions have fought to get us the working conditions many of us now take for granted. Fought. I used that word but it's never really o...
  • KC
    1970-01-01
    It's 1929 and Ella May Wiggins is struggling to raise her 4 young children alone. She must work late into the night at the American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. With a sick daughter at home, Ella appeals to her boss to work the day shift, but her request is denied, leaving her angry and frustrated. After the first of the union leaflets come through the mill, Ella experiences the first glint of hope. With the singing voice of an an...
  • Creager
    1970-01-01
    All souls have a story to tell and The Last Ballad has a chorus of people geared to a rising crescendo. While Wiley Cash’s novel of a mill strike in 1929 is inspired by real events, his writing croons so softly of the abject misery of the working masses versus the strident actions of the wealthy few. Juxtaposed with cobbled grit and wrapped in sweet southern charm, Ella May Wiggins; a life, a fighter, a mother, is a lasting ballad that resonate...
  • Ericka Seidemann
    1970-01-01
    The Last Ballad is the true story of Ella May Wiggins, a young mother of 5 children, who worked in the textile mill in 1929 and became the voice of the union struggle for workers’ rights. Ella only earned $9 a week working nights at the mill, unable to stay home to care for her ill children. Her husband ran off, and she lived as a single parent in Stumptown, depending on the help of her poor neighbors to care for her children while she worked g...
  • Judy Collins
    1970-01-01
    Review to follow.
  • Penny (Literary Hoarders)
    1970-01-01
    This was excellent!! So different of course, from A Land More Kind Than Home (my favourite of Wiley Cash's) but so, so very good! He just keeps getting better! I started listening to this one in audio, because Karen White was the narrator. I loved her in The Dry Grass of August, so it was something I was looking forward to listening to in audio. But the hardcover also came in at the library for me, so I ended up switching to that format. I'm real...
  • Emily Crowe
    1970-01-01
    Workers’ rights, women’s rights, and race intersect in this luminous new historical novel from Wiley Cash.
  • Janet
    1970-01-01
    In his latest novel Wiley Cash shines much deserved light on the life of Ella May Wiggins, a working mother who joined the fight to unionize mill workers in the South in the 1920s. A fine singer, she rose to prominence in the movement after singing her song, "A Mill Mother's Lament"', at a labor rally. She also became known for her then controversial determination to organize African American workers. Ella May's determination to build a better li...
  • Becky Spratford
    1970-01-01
    Review on RA for All: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2017/06/...I read an advanced copy for my Read N Rave panel at the 2017 ALA Annual conference. Details in the post.Publishers sent me hundreds of titles in advance and I was tasked with picking anything I wanted to “Rave."
  • Ashley McMillan
    1970-01-01
    Oh man, ya'll, Wiley Cash gets me right in the feels! Based on true events - the 1929 Loray Mill strike in NC and the life of Ella May Wiggins in particular, a mill worker and single mother of 5 who became a union organizer known for the ballads she wrote/sang at rallies. Using shifting perspectives, Cash expertly navigates the struggle for basic human rights in the South, pulling no punches. He's become one of my go to authors for Southern lit!
  • Mary
    1970-01-01
    Perfect. Wiley Cash's new work is atmospheric, haunting and perfect. Through many different voices, he tells the story of Ella May Wiggins, a young woman living in abject poverty who was at the forefront of the effort to unionize mill workers the foothills of Appalachia in the late 1920s. There are many lessons to be learned in this emotional story. Cash's lyrical writing both transcends and brings home the pain that comes from the never ending f...
  • Sara
    1970-01-01
    Truly touching story, based on actual events, of Ella May, who fought in 1920s North Carolina for textile workers' rights and to integrate their unions. Told from multiple perspectives so we see how deeply she touched others. Thanks @WilliamMorrow for the ARC
  • Peggy Honeydew
    1970-01-01
    The Last Ballad. Joining a long line of fine works of Southern Literature. I am so deeply moved by this fictional portrayal of a real life martyr of the labor movement. If you are a mother read this. The push and pull of work and the struggle to do right will ring true. If you work for wages read this. People like Ella Mae are the reason you have some of the rights you do. It is a reminder how precious what we take for granted is, what it costs, ...
  • Ron S
    1970-01-01
    Set in the textile mills of 1929 North Carolina and inspired by a true story, the myriad voices in this beautifully written book might wander a bit much for some, but Cash carefully weaves everything together in the end.
  • Bettyb
    1970-01-01
    My first thought after finishing this book was that it should have focused more on Ella May. After thinking about the book for a few days, I realized that the story was about the struggle of all factory workers at that time and place in history. By including so many different voices, Cash gave us a more complete picture of this struggle and the forces that were aligned against those workers who wanted to unionize. An important tale, beautifully t...
  • Dan Radovich
    1970-01-01
    After I finished reading book number three from Cash I felt as if I were watching a young player at bat, waiting for the perfect pitch. Not that his first two works were 'strikes' - they are both solid hits, but THE LAST BALLAD - he knocks it out of the park! Ella May Wiggins and all those living in Bessemer City, NC are brought to life in Cash's re-telling of 1929 Appalachia. Toiling in a textile mill to earn nine dollars for 72 hours of work ca...
  • Rebecca
    1970-01-01
    This is the story of Ella May Wiggins, a mill worker, working the night shift in the south in 1929 who asked to have her shift change to the day so she could take better care of a sick child, one of four she is raising on her own after her husband ran off. She is paid little and works hard, she is poor and her children are hungry and her request has been turned down, she has already lost a child to sickness. Carrying this weight she is approached...
  • Janet
    1970-01-01
    In his latest novel Wiley Cash shines much deserved light on the life of Ella May Wiggins, a working mother who joined the fight to unionize mill workers in the South in the 1920s. A fine singer, she rose to prominence in the movement after singing her song, "A Mill Mother's Lament"', at a labor rally. She also became known for her then controversial determination to organize African American workers. Ella May's determination to build a better li...
  • Karen Vasey
    1970-01-01
    I'm convinced that Wiley Cash cannot write a bad book. While this one was a little slow out of the gates, once it settled in the story is absolutely amazing.
  • Diane
    1970-01-01
    Although Wiley Cash's newest novel, The Last Ballad, is set in 1929, the themes of the struggling working class, the politics of rich versus poor, racism and sexism are as relevant today as they were then.Young Ella May Wiggins is 28 years-old, a mother of four with a husband who deserts her. She works the night shift at the local textile mill, making less than $10 a week, which is not enough to feed her children.When Ella had to miss to a shift ...
  • Pat
    1970-01-01
    I was completely engaged with this book and the memorable character of Ella Mae Wiggins from the first page. It is all the more powerful because it is based on a real person who worked at the Loray Mills in Gastonia, NC in 1929. It is difficult for us to comprehend the conditions under which the mill workers lived and worked without this eye-opening account.A pregnant Ella Mae had the courage and conviction to advocate for unions despite the dang...
  • Nicole
    1970-01-01
    *I received book from a Goodreads Giveaway.*I thought this was going to go back and forth between just two points of view, Ella and her grown daughter Lilly, years apart. It actually went through many points of view most along the same timeline. This was confusing at first and made it hard to keep track of who was who, but once you got used to it it made the story better because you got to see so many sides. I enjoyed this because it was about a ...
  • Ron Block
    1970-01-01
    The Last Ballad is the sort of book that reminds you why you love reading. Bringing the little known story of Ella May Wiggins and her work to unionize textile mill workers in Gastonia, NC, to light, Wiley Cash proves he is among the very best writers of his generation. The writing style and fully realized characters draw readers into the past utilizing characters from imagined aspects of Ella May's life. This brilliant tool allows the author to ...