By Katie Crawford
Deeds Publishing, 2016
Mine is a story of two sisters, Maggie and Janie, bonded despite deep differences. They grew up in a small Eastern Pennsylvania coal town in the 1940s and 50s. The story begins when Maggie is 8 and Janie is 6, and as I read the first few chapters, I thought it was going to be a coming-of-age story. But this book is about much more. It tells the story of the sisters’ lives, from the small town they grew up in to Philadelphia, where they spent their adult years.
I don’t want to give away too much as I enjoyed how this book twisted and turned as the women grew up. This is a story of loss and resilience and what I liked was how well Crawford expressed the weight and power of female experiences, about what it means to be a: daughter, mother, sister, mother-in-law or an aunt. And about all the loss that women face. It is a quiet book and yet much drama unfolds during Janie and Maggie’s lives.
I heard of this book from a friend, DM, who knows the author. Crawford is a Philadelphia native who now lives in Swarthmore, PA. The book was published by a small press, Deeds Publishing. I am much appreciative of the small presses that publish exciting work that get overlooked by the Big Five publishers.