By Clark Isaacs, Clark’s Eye on Books
Clemson Page has written a compelling 1st historical novel about one of the most dangerous jobs in the world that of being a coal miner.
David Gwynn, at 8 years of age, was in school when the Stedman colliery whistle blew in the middle of the day. This was never good news! That day, March 22, 1903, was one David would always remember. There was a firedamp explosion, roof cave-in, and flooding in the Allegheny Anthracite Company Mine No. 3, located in Stedman, Pennsylvania. It was also the day that David’s father perished. Upheaval in his young life at 14 forced him to follow his father’s footsteps as a miner. He became a coal sorter on the breaker and progressed to working deep in the mine itself, all to take care of his mother.
Mary Gwynn had a different idea for her son, she wanted him to get an education, and get out of the mining industry working as a miner. David with his headstrong ways was out to avenge his father’s death by proving the cause of the accident could have been prevented. During the ensuing years he gains good friends and acquires some enemies as well. He develops a rough-and-tough demeanor which gets him noticed as a trouble maker. A one day strike by the miners was instigated by him that also put him at odds with the fire boss and others in management. He redeems his integrity by attempting to rescue a trapped miner.
Characters in this book will entertain you from the beginning to end. The raw truth about these fearless workers and their sacrifices will invoke compassion and awareness of the perils of coal miners.
One wonders why anyone would choose this occupation and its risky way of life. Since this is the first book of a series maybe future novels will explain more of the motivation behind the choices the miners made.
Clemson Page is an example of how education can really change the course of a person’s life. His background is that of being a descendant of family who had lived and worked in the coal mining region! He has direct knowledge of how hard the work was in the early days even though he became an attorney!
A terrific book! God Bless the coal miners!
Up Home Stedman, Book One 1903 – 1909
Author: Clemson Page
Publication Date: January, 2008
Paperback, Historical Fiction
Published by Windstorm Creative
Clark Isaacs is an accomplished book critic who is published in local newspapers and national book review lists. Contact Clark through his website at clarkisaacs.ning.com or through NewsBlaze.