Kinship, Ohio, 1924: When Lily Ross learns that her husband,
Daniel Ross, the town's widely respected sheriff, is killed
while transporting a prisoner, she is devastated and vows to
avenge his death.
Hours after his funeral, a stranger appears at her door.
Marvena Whitcomb, a coal miner’s widow, is unaware that
Daniel has died, and begs to speak with him about her
From miles away but worlds apart, Lily and Marvena's lives
collide as they realize that Daniel was not the man that
either of them believed him to be—and that his murder is far
more complex than either of them could have imagined.
Inspired by the true story of Ohio's first female sheriff,
this is a powerful debut about two women’s search for
justice as they take on the corruption at the heart of their
"Deeply felt…the feisty female protagonists do their real-life foremothers proud." Publishers Weekly
"Inspired by the true story of Maude Collins, Ohio’s first female sheriff, and prominent labor and community organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, Montgomery’s debut novel features two tough-as-nails, strong-willed women whose empathy leaves a lasting impression. A simultaneous examination of women’s rights, coal mining, prohibition, and Appalachian life, make this a fantastic choice for historical fiction fans." Library Journal (starred review)
"An engaging debut… Vivid historical details, an intriguing mystery, and strong female characters." Kirkus Reviews
"Jess Montgomery's gorgeous writing can be just as dark and terrifying as a subterranean cave when the candle is snuffed out, but her prose can just as easily lead you to the surface for a gasp of air and a glimpse of blinding, beautiful sunlight. This is a powerful novel: a tale of loss, greed, and violence, and the story of two powerful women who refuse to stand down." Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Ballad
"Set when coal was king and the Pinkertons its strikebreakers, The Widows is a gripping, beautifully written novel about two women avenging the murder of the man they both loved." Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of You’ll Never Know, Dear
"In the hard-luck, homespun Appalachian town of Kinship, Ohio, in 1924, two strong women become unlikely comrades to solve a murder in this flinty, heartfelt mystery that sings of hawks and history, of coal mines and the urgent fight for social justice." Julia Keller, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Bone on Bone