PLAYING ST. BARBARA
The big coal strike of 1928 ends, yet crosses still burn.
Angry miners plot. Company policemen stalk and spy. Miner’s wife Clare Sweeney hides bruises inflicted by her husband—and her real name. Her three daughters harbor secrets of their own. Each knows (or guesses) only fragments of the others’ unvoiced stories.
Their intertwined lives eerily mirror the 7th century legend of St. Barbara, patroness of miners, reenacted annually in the town pageant. Tested by scandal, heartbreak, and tragedy, each woman will write her own courageous ending to St. Barbara’s story.
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A stunning debut...Marian Szczepanski made a believer out of me — I believe in the possibility of light and grace, even in the darkest of times, and I am more enthralled than ever by the powerful stories of women: sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends.
—Nina Sankovitch, author of Tolstoy and the Purple Chair for Huffington Post