Last night, Marian Szczepanski came to Village House of Books. She read 4 passages from her book, Playing St. Barbara, one for each female member of the Sweeney family. Then she answered a ton of questions, mostly from a contingent of Notre Dame University alumni, the same school that Marian graduated from. The evening flew by.
As you might know by now, the book takes place between 1929-1941 in a small mining town in Pennsylvania. While doing research, it turns out that the area in the book is nearby where her grandmother grew up. Needless to say, her story has a strong feeling of being accurate - what with the big mining bosses, the dangers of mining, the KKK (yes, they weren't only in the South), and the enormous popularity of baseball. And, it turns out, based on what we all heard last night, it actually is an accurate depiction. Realism is a good thing for historical fiction.
Here are a few pictures from the evening. In the last one, the 2 people you see on the stools are VHOB's owners, Cheryl and Steve Hare. They, obviously, didn't know they were being photographed (I'm going to get in trouble for that one, I suspect).