Historical Fiction Book Club

 On Tuesday, September 3, at 6:30 p.m. the Historical Fiction Book Club will talk about "Mary Coin" by Marisa Silver. 

Copies of book discussion titles are available at the Massillon Public Library’s Reference Desk. Registration is required.

For more information, contact the library 330.832.9831, ext. 312.


Mary Coin
by Marisa Silver

Find this book in our catalog.

In her first novel since "The God of War," the critically acclaimed author Marisa Silver takes Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" photograph as inspiration for a breathtaking reinvention--a story of two women, one famous and one forgotten, and of the remarkable legacy of their chance encounter.

In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of a road in Central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting the migrant laborers who have taken to America's farms in search of work. Little personal information is exchanged, and neither woman has any way of knowing that they have produced what will become the most iconic image of the Great Depression.

Three vibrant characters anchor the narrative of "Mary Coin." Mary, the migrant mother herself, who emerges as a woman with deep reserves of courage and nerve, with private passions and carefully-guarded secrets. Vera Dare, the photographer wrestling with creative ambition who makes the choice to leave her children in order to pursue her work. And Walker Dodge, a present-day professor of cultural history, who discovers a family mystery embedded in the picture.

In luminous, exquisitely rendered prose, Silver creates an extraordinary tale from a brief moment in history, and reminds us that although a great photograph can capture the essence of a moment, it only scratches the surface of a life.