The Widows by Jess Montgomery

The Widows

Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband, Daniel Ross, the town’s widely respected sheriff, is killed while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to avenge his death.Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door. Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware that Daniel has died, and begs to speak with him about her missing daughter.From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena’s lives co...

Details The Widows

TitleThe Widows
Release DateJan 8th, 2019
PublisherMinotaur Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Reviews The Widows

  • Linda
    Revenge keeps the pain of the wound seeping blood into the forever.Lily Ross bends wearily as she sets thing right in the Rossville jail. Strapped with a derringer at her ankle, Lily eyes the prisoner in the cell facing her. The Appalachian foothills in 1925 in this small Ohio town provide a panoramic view of the Devil's Backbone and the coal mines that give dangerous employment to the men of the community. Lily's own father was killed in a mine ...
  • Fran
    "Life often demands doing contradictory things in exchange for survival". Life in the Appalachian mining town of Kinship, Ohio changed in the blink of an eye following a 1924 cave-in resulting from an undetectable buildup of methane gas ignited by lightning. John Rutherford, Marvena Whitcomb's common-law husband and Caleb McArthur, Lily Ross's father died trying to rescue trapped miners in the Widowmaker. Lily and Marvena would soon meet each oth...
  • DJ Sakata
    Favorite Quote:Mama’s round face is so puckered with outrage that her mouth looks like the top of a drawstring purse.My Review:I am in awe of this author, this is her first novel and it was simply stellar! The storytelling was commanding, cunningly crafted, enthralling, emotive, highly descriptive, and smartly nuanced. I was instantly sucked into her vortex and heard a multitude of sounds, accents, and dialects in my head. I was right there wit...
  • Erin
    3.75 stars rounded up to 4 Thanks to Netgalley and St.Martins Press for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. Described as a historical mystery, The Widows is the beginning of a new series called "Kinship" set in the 1920's and featuring two captivating women - Lily Ross, who becomes sheriff of her Ohio town after the death of her husband; and Marvena Whitcomb, a miner's widow who is an active member in the union movement. Lily is bent on ...
  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    The year is 1924, and Lilly Ross learns her husband, Kinship's sheriff was killed while transporting a prisoner. However, just after the funeral, a strange woman shows up not knowing that Daniel Ross is dead. Marvena Whitcomb has known Daniel for years, and now she's there to talk to him about her missing daughter. Her husband was a coal miner who died a while back. Both women have to deal with the loss of Daniel, and they join forces to find out...
  • Fictionophile
    A story of two courageous, hard-working, and thoroughly admirable women, this story is set in an Appalachian mining community where a mine called "The Widowmaker" has proven its name on three separate occasions..."The sisterhood of widows. Such a sorrowful sisterhood Lily has joined."Lily Ross - Wife of the Sheriff, Daniel Ross, pregnant and with two young children, she is widowed at the tender age of twenty-six. Approached by the deputy and offe...
  • Dennis
    I'm torn between 3 and 3.5 stars. The Widows is a character rich historical-fiction novel that takes place in small town, coal mining Ohio during the 1920's. The two main protagonists, Lily and Marvena, are both strong, independent, and powerful women, who are helping shape America's coal mining society during a time where the rich kept getting richer, while the poor was kept in the shadows. Kind of reminds me of America today... While Lily repr...
  • Libby
    3.5 stars. Our story begins September of 1924 in the fictitious Bronwyn County of Ohio. Jess Montgomery writes in her author’s note that Bronwyn is meant to represent “western Athens, eastern Vinton, and southern Hocking and Perry counties” of Ohio. The Appalachian region is ever of interest to me; its histories and varied, distinct, and fascinating characters strike a chord. Born and raised in my own briar patch of western North Carolina, ...
  • Heather Blake
    Oh, how I love this book. Two strong women, a gripping mystery, and so beautifully written that I can practically hear the hawk’s cry, taste the sorghum, and feel coal dust on my skin. The Widows has earned a spot on my keeper shelf, and may there be many, many more books in this series to come.
  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    This Historical Fiction novel sets itself apart from others in this popular genre by focusing on the lives and points of view of two women in a small, coal mining town in Ohio during the 1920's. Coal mining, especially in the early 20th century, was a dangerous business and in this book, two women, with a complicated bond, find themselves in the middle of a controversy as some townspeople want to organize a union while others will do anything to ...
  • Debby
    Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for this read in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions contained herein are my own.This was a first time read for me by Jess Montgomery that was a well-written novel. "The Widows" is set in 1920’s Ohio, in a small town that depends on its living from a mining company. Lily Ross is the Sheriff’s wife of Bronwyn County who serves as the jail mistress, and who enjoys worki...
  • Lesa
    It's taken me a little while to read Jess Montgomery's debut historical novel. It's a compelling storybased on two historical figures, and the author has brought them together in a riveting story of two strong women. And, it appears to be the first Sheriff Lily Ross historical mystery.Lily Ross was content to be the jail mistress in Bronwyn County, Ohio. Her husband, Daniel, is sheriff in the community that's dependent on mining. But, Bronwyn Cou...
  • Vicki
    I found this book to be very interesting and inspiring. I've never read a book about a mining community before so I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I loved it.The story is told in 2 POV's by Marvena and Lily. "The book was inspired by a true story of Ohio's first female sheriff. The Ross Mining Company's Mine No. 9 was nicknamed the Widowmaker after an 1888 cave-in killed forty-two men." Montgomery's set this book six weeks after that disaster w...
  • Jessica Strawser
    Pulling back the curtain on a time and place where women's roles were too often overlooked, The Widows is full of characters who surprise those who underestimate them. A rich, empowering and satisfying read. (Many thanks to the author and publisher for the opportunity to read and review early.)
  • Cathy Cole
    I have to say that I was captivated by The Widows from the minute I began reading, and it does have a lot to do with my own personal experience. My mother was a widow (wife at eighteen, mother at nineteen, widow at twenty), so I know how tough and protective women on their own can be. Secondly, I come from a small farm town that used to be a mining town. On Christmas Eve 1932, methane gas built up in the mine, the barometric pressure dropped, the...
  • KC
    1920s Ohio and soon Lilly learns the fate of her husband. Sheriff Daniel Ross is killed while transporting a prisoner. Sadly, Lilly must face the fact that her husband had a secret past, linking his life with Minerva, a coal miners widow. After Minerva's teen daughter goes missing and fearing the worst, she seeks assistance from Daniel. These two women, strong, determined and persistent push forward with the hope of unveiling the truth behind the...
  • Lisa
    The Widows is set in the 1920s and binds two widows together after the death of the husband of one and the best friend of the other. The second woman has already lost her husband as well. The pair is solving the mystery of Daniel's death. The backdrop includes mining and unionization. Beautifully written with wonderful characters and a great plot. 5/5 stars.
  • Janice
    I enjoyed immensely this story of two incredibly strong women, who dared to step outside the conventional roles usually open to women of their time. Lily is the sheriff of her county, and Marvena is a union leader, and spokesperson for the coal miners in their Appalachian area. The setting is southeastern Ohio in the 1920’s, and there would seem to be more that would cause conflict between these two than would draw them together. For one, they ...
  • Lynn
    The Widows was a very good read. The location is Kinship, Ohio. The year is 1924. This book features two strong women who were strangers to each other. They find that they are connected due to Daniel Ross who is the sheriff and the husband of Lily Ross. Marvena was a best friend to Daniel and a past lover. Marvena is aware of Lily but Lily meets Marvena when Marvena comes to town to ask Daniel to find information about her teenage daughter Eula w...
  • Rebecca Rosenberg
    A gut-wrenching novel about the mining industry in this country. Jess's description and characters will draw you in and keep you with them to the end of this moving novel. I was reading THE WIDOWS simultaneously with EDUCATED, and had trouble keeping them separate! Fabulous novel about an important aspect of our American history that is so meaningful still today.
  • Deb
    Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine, especially when it takes me into the past and to aspects of history that I am not familiar with. In the case of The Widows, I was transported to the Appalachians and rural Ohio coal mines in 1925 where I learned about the attempts to unionize the mines and provide the workers with fair employment practices and safer working conditions, all why trying to solve a murder and a disappearance in a book w...
  • Robin Loves Reading
    It is 1924 Kinship, Ohio. Lily Ross finds a unique way to avenge her husband's death. Her husband, Daniel, was a widely-respected sheriff. In order to have a fair amount of autonomy into investigating his death, Lily becomes Ohio's first female sheriff. Just a few hours after Daniel's funeral, Marvena Whitcomb, widow of a coal minor, approaches Lily's door to ask for help to locate her missing daughter. Lily feels compelled to help Marvena. In so...
  • Jessica
    Thanks to William Morrow and TLC Book Tours for the free copy in exchange for my honest review. I’ve said it many times before, but I’m a huge fan of historical fiction. Throw in a mystery and that’s a combination I’m sure to enjoy! THE WIDOWS by Jess Montgomery was an incredibly engrossing read – the descriptions and writing were so detailed without being bogged down. You actually feel like you’re there with these women and experienc...
  • Sue Jackson
    I loved this captivating novel (great on audio!) that combines mystery & history about Ohio's first woman sheriff, recommended by Book Cougars podcast. Read my full review and listen to an audio sample:
  • Suz Jay
    “…So many believe women are too sensitive for life’s brutal truths. That’s only, Lily thinks, because they’ve not experienced the brutal truths life gives particularly and uniquely to women.”*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. In 1925, two strong women live in an Ohio mining town. The man who loves them both is killed and together they sort the facts from the fiction ab...
  • Grace Curtis
    I received an advance reader copy of The Widows by Jess Montgomery and I’m so glad I did. Montgomery’s story is the tale of two powerful women who lost the man, Daniel, they both loved. One, Daniel’s wife, Lily, becomes Ohio’s first sheriff. The other, Marvena, is fighting to unionize coal miners against the deplorable and dangerous mining conditions of the Appalachian Mountains of southern Ohio. Under the most trying of circumstance—Da...
  • Addie Dehart
    I would like to thank Netgalley, St Martin's Press,and Minotaur books for providing me with an ARC of The Widows to review and read. This book was on ok book, there were both books I really liked and some aspects that I think could have been done better. On the positive side this book featured two amazing characters. Lily and Marvena were smart,strong,brave women that were interesting to read about and easy to root for. I also thoroughly enjoyed ...
  • Katrina
    This is a powerful, beautiful book. I was fortunate to read an advanced reading copy. Strong women protagonists, rich historical details, and an engrossing, compelling story. Looking forward to its release and plan to re-read it (along with everyone I'll be recommending it to!)
  • Paul Goat
    The debut novel from Montgomery (the pseudonymous Sharon Short)—a historical mystery that is based around the lives of two heroic women living in a 1920’s Appalachian mining town—is nothing short of a masterwork. A storytelling tour de force. Easily one of the most unforgettable novels I’ve read in recent years. As a book critic for the last 22 years, it’s my job to spot flaws—and this novel was virtually flawless. The stories of Lily...
  • Victoria Colotta
    My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A emotional and compelling story steeped in the history of the 1920s and centering on two fiercely tenacious women.THE WIDOWS is the third book I have read this year and if it is setting the tone for what is to come, we are all in for some amazing books. Montgomery brings to life this mining town through effortless storytelling, lyrical writing, and strong, passionate female characters. For me, the heart of this sto...