44 Hours or Strike!
It is 1931, and Jewish immigrant sisters Rose and Sophie are two of many who work a seventy-hour week in Toronto’s dressmaking district. Life is hard, sure, but life becomes even harder when the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union declares a strike and Rose is arrested at the picket line. With her mother sick in the hospital and Rose in jail, Sophie is suddenly alone. Through it all, Sophie grows as she learns perseverance and patience at the picket line.
Although the story focuses on alternating characters, most of the book describes Sophie’s journey to adulthood. While this plot is generally interesting and well-portrays Sophie’s troubles, it is not extremely suspenseful.
That said, historical photographs picturing people and places discussed in the book along with occasional Yiddish poems and phrases make the book seem historically and culturally realistic. A historical note at the end of the book profiles several important figures in Jewish, women’s, and labor history.
There is a slight romantic sub-plot that does not seem to do much to the story except perhaps foreshadow Sophie’s future life and beliefs.
In the end, 44 Hours or Strike is a good, interesting Great Depression historical fiction novel.
|Page Count||112 pages|
|Publisher||Second Story Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|