Spindle City

Spindle City

On June 23, 1911-a summer day so magnificent it seems as if God himself has smiled on the town-Fall River, Massachusetts, is reveling in its success. The Cotton Centennial is in full swing as Joseph Bartlett takes his place among the local elite in the parade grandstand. The meticulously planned carnival has brought the thriving textile town to an unprecedented halt; rich and poor alike crowd the streets, welcoming President Taft to America's "Spindle City."

Yet as he perches in the grandstand nursing a nagging toothache, Joseph Bartlett straddles the divide between Yankee mill owners and the union bosses who fight them. Bartlett, a renegade owner, fears the town cannot long survive against the union-free South. He frets over the ever-present threat of strikes and factory fires, knowing his own fortune was changed by the drop of a kerosene lantern. When the Cleveland Mill burned, good men died, and immigrant's son Joseph Bartlett gained a life of privilege he never wanted.

Now Joseph is one of the most influential men in a prosperous town. High above the rabble, as he stands among politicians and society ladies, his wife is dying, his sons are lost in the crowd facing pivotal decisions of their own, and the differences between the haves and have-nots are stretched to the breaking point.

Spindle City delves deep into the lives, loves, and fortunes of real and imagined mill owners, anarchists, and immigrants, from the Highlands mansions to the tenements of the Cogsworth slum, chronicling a mill town's-and a generation's-last days of glory.

Title:Spindle City
ISBN:9781982629373
Format Type:

    Spindle City Reviews

  • Carolyn

    In 1911 Fall River in Massachusetts is celebrating a century of cotton manufacture with a carnival and parade, topped off by a visit from the President. Mill manager and part owner Joseph Bartlett is ...

  • Annette

    This story brings a historical background for a city once prospering from textile mills and now facing union strikes. But for most of the part this is a moving story of a father, who after losing his ...

  • Tina Rae

    So, unfortunately, this book was not for me. I really struggled to get through this one and if it hadn't been an ARC, I probably wouldn't have finished it?? (But I feel like I give better feedback on ...

  • Sue

    In Spindle City, Jotham Burrello provides an unusual take on American history—the dramatization of an early 20th century industrial town at the height of its success as the lives of some of its resi...

  • Lyuba

    I originally got interested in getting an advanced reading copy of this novel after noticing in the description that it was set in Fall River, MA. I live in Southern New England and have long been fas...

  • Pamela

    This novel is set in 1911 Fall River, Massachusetts, a textile mill town celebrating its one hundredth anniversary with a visit from President Taft. The story revolves around Joseph Bartlett, a mill o...

  • Kaye

    This story had abundant potential, not all realized. It's been hard for me to summarize the book itself and my feelings about it.The historical aspect (it's set 100-plus years ago) was only dimly port...

  • Kathy

    This novel is set in the early 1900's as America celebrates its Cotton Centennial with an appearance by President Taft. Other political happenings of the day (manufacturers vs. unions, improving the w...

  • Kathleen Gray

    This family saga set in Fall River is really the story of Joseph Bartlett, who, in a sense, failed up so that in 1911, he's the chief of the Cleveland Mill. And his life is a mess. His sons Will and H...

  • Patty Dowden

    I wanted to give this a shot- but there is so much going on, too little character development and a hard to follow plot(?). In first few chapters the protagonist’s wife dies, an affair is implied, o...