A Fragile Design (Bells of Lowell #2) by Tracie Peterson and Judith McCoy Miller
Arabella Newberry is angry with her father and his choices. Instead of caring for his family he decided to force them to join the Shaker Community, where all share in the toil and all are cared for.
Years have passed, and Arabella is old enough to fend for herself and decides to leave. She plans to go with her best friends Daughtie and Jesse and head to Concord, MA to find her mother’s relatives, and if she cannot-move on to Lowell, MA and work in the factories.
That night of their escape, Jesse does not show up, but the girls continue on their way. They make it to Concord and see Arabella’s family, but they have just moved back and don’t have a lot of money, so they continue on to Lowell, MA.
There in Lowell, the girls stay at Addie’s boarding house, like Lily did in the previous book, and begin working in the factory. Arabella adjusts well, while Daughtie has a harder time.
Taylor Manning has just moved from England to work with his uncle on the designs for the factory and this English rascal has his eye on Arabella-who is not interested in getting involved with a man and especially one doesn’t serve God.
Meanwhile, things are heating up in the town as it is growing more and more each day and the factory owners are losing their control. To add further troubles, lots of Irish women are disappearing. As the Irish are seen as low and not wanted, the police and people don’t care-saying the girls are running off.
They are being kidnapped.
But then a mill girl disappears and all begin to worry. Who could be behind this? Where are the women? And will they find the culprit before another one is kidnapped?
Thoughts After Reading:
I thought this one was not as interesting as the first book, Daughter of the Loom, but I liked that they realistically showed how the Irish people were being treated. It was an interesting story and mystery.
For more Bells of Lowell, go to Daughter of the Loom
For more historical fiction mysteries, go to Ruby in the Smoke