Monday, October 10, 2016
The Silver Baron's Wife
The Silver Baron's Wife traces the rags-to-riches-to-rags life of Colorado's Baby Doe Tabor (Lizzie). This fascinating heroine worked in the silver mines and had two scandalous marriages, one to a philandering opium addict and one to a Senator and silver baron worth $24 million in the late 19th century. A divorcee shunned by Denver society, Lizzie raised two daughters in a villa where 100 peacocks roamed the lawns, entertained Sarah Bernhardt when the actress performed at Tabor's Opera House, and after her second husband's death, moved to a one-room shack at the Matchless Mine in Leadville. She lived the last 35 years of her life there, writing down thousands of her dreams and noting visitations of spirits on her calendar. Hers is the tale of a fiercely independent woman who bucked all social expectations by working where 19thcentury women didn't work, becoming the key figure in one of the West's most scandalous love triangles, and, after a devastating stock market crash destroyed Tabor's vast fortune, living in eccentric isolation at the Matchless Mine. An earlier version of this novel won the PEN/New England Discovery Award in Fiction."
Lizzie really was the whole star of this story. I just loved the way the author writes. I felt like I really could picture the cabin that Lizzie and Harvey, her first husband moved into when they first came out to Colorado. Big kudos to Lizzie for being a strong, independent woman. This is what I loved the most about her. At first she started out like the type that was afraid to get her hands dirty but by the end of the story, she was a woman in charge who's spirit could not be broken. I have not read many mining stories; especially ones in Colorado, my home state. If more stories both fiction and nonfiction read like this book, I would read more of them. Lizzie's second husband, Horace was like night and day from Lizzie's first, Harvey. I am glad that Lizzie found true love in Horace. I could not stop reading this book. I have become a fan of author, Donna Baier Stein and gladly look forward to reading more books from this author. The Silver's Baron's Wife strikes gold! A treasure of a read.