Spring into Historical Fiction

In 1907, Sylvie Pelletier’s French-Canadian family relocates from Vermont to Moonstone Colorado for her father’s job as a quarry man for The Padgett Fuel and Stone Company. When the impressionable Sylvie is asked to work that summer in the manor house for the Padgett family, she is awe-struck by her surroundings and is drawn to her employer, the charming “Countess” Inge, and to Inge’s stepson Jasper, the heir to the family fortune. By the end of the season, however, Sylvie sees through the Padgett’s lofty ideas for the town’s future, and understands the feelings of discontent among the workers and their families who make up the town of Moonstone.

Sylvie learns even more when she becomes an apprentice to Miss. Katrina Redmond, the bold local editor of the local newspaper who is not afraid to publish unbecoming stories involving the company. When tragedy strikes, Sylvie is no longer content to sit on the sidelines and involves herself in attempting to unionize the stone workers, alongside the likes of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones.

Based on true stories from Colorado history, Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning is epic historical fiction to savor, with a memorable leading character who must come of age before her time. For fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Four Winds, this tale of the American West is beautifully and at times heartbreakingly told and it expertly captures the difficulties of the era and the disparities between the working poor and the robber barons they toiled for.



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