Author: Adele Myers
Narrators: Shannon McManus and Janet Metzger
Started: April 25, 2022
Finished: April 29, 2022
Maddie Sykes is unceremoniously dropped on the doorstep of her Aunt Etta who lives in Bright Leaf, North Carolina - the tobacco capital of the East Coast. When her aunt is suddenly diagnosed with pneumonia and hospitalized, Maddie goes to stay with her aunt's friend Mitzi, who is married to the owner of the biggest tobacco plant in the county. On top of worrying about her aunt, Maddie is also responsible for the gowns her aunt was hired to make for the annual gala for all the tobacco wives.
During her time in Bright Leaf, Maddie gets to know how important the tobacco industry is to the town and how important the employer is to everyone in the area. When Maddie accidentally picks up a confidential letter that details what the company knows about the dangers of smoking - especially on pregnant women.
The narration of this book was fantastic. I truly enjoyed the different characters and the way in which they were portrayed; each had an attitude and personality all their own and were easily distinguished from each other. The narration definitely added to the charm of the story.
This was a different kind of historical fiction than I am used to and I really didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. This was a wonderfully well-told story that not only explained the tobacco manufacturers' process and thinking but there are also strong tones of feminism and the desire to improve the life of the poor.