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Rose Nolan and her family immigrate to the United States in 1911. But before the family is allowed to leave Ellis Island, her father is sent back to Ireland with her sick brother. Rose, her mother and 2 younger sisters go to stay in New York with her uncle, but her mother soon tires of waiting for her father, and returns home. However, in spite of the difficulties, Rose and her sister Maureen are enamored with the new country and decide to stay and fend for themselves.

Rose soon finds work at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory. She makes friends, enjoys her work and the pay, and is content with her new life. But when a deadly fire rips through the factory, Rose is challenged more than she ever thought possible.

I really enjoyed this book, in spite of the dread that was hanging over me while I waited for the fire to happen. The book definitely portrays sympathy for worker’s unions. Given the conditions that Rose worked in, you can see why unions were so necessary. In spite of my disagreements with much of what unions do today, I do appreciate the contributions they have made to this country, and Auch does a good job of illustrating some of these in her book.

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