The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash is a powerful and moving novel that tells the story of Ella May Wiggins, a courageous woman who fought for her rights and dignity in a textile mill during the labor strikes of the 1920s. Based on a true story, the novel explores themes of courage, oppression, injustice, and the struggle for workers’ rights.
Ella May Wiggins is a 28-year-old mother of four who works long hours at a textile mill to support her family after her husband abandons them. Despite the harsh working conditions and low pay, she finds hope in the labor strikes happening around her. Ella becomes involved in the union movement, using her musical talent and public speaking abilities to rally others to the cause.
The novel offers multiple perspectives, including those of mill owners, union organizers, and other workers, providing a nuanced view of the complex issues surrounding the labor movement. It also delves into the racial tensions of the time, as well as the personal struggles faced by the characters.
In the end, Ella May’s efforts come at a great cost, as she is tragically killed for her involvement in the strike. However, her legacy lives on, inspiring others to continue fighting for workers’ rights and better conditions.
What I liked
I loved everything about this novel. I loved the setting, the location, the characters, and the fact that it is based on a true story.
What I Did Not Like
Nothing! All around great read.