Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Silver Baron's Wife by Donna Baier Stein

"The Silver Baron's Wife" by Donna Baier Stein is an account of the life of a very strong-willed and interesting woman named Elizabeth McCourt Doe Tabor better known as Baby Doe Tabor (Lizzie). 
Her rags to riches to rags story is very compelling, inspiring, and ultimately sad. It is written as a fictional novel but don't be mistaken in thinking it is only fiction. It is based on a very real woman who lived during the late 1800's. The author chose to write the novel as fiction using much research including personal notes from Baby Doe Tabor herself and other sources. I found this style actually brought Baby Doe Tabor to life better than if it had been written as nonfiction. I could appreciate her strength of character, stubbornness, her triumphs, dreams, and disappointments. Baby Doe Tabor is a part of history and a woman we should not forget. She refused to conform to society and did what she had to do to survive. She should not be forgotten and Donna Baier Stein has made sure of that.
I received a copy of this book from Serving House Books for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Four out of Five Stars

“Donna Baier Stein is a discovery. Her deceptively mild story-telling veers swiftly into the savage but often unacknowledged discontent of suburban life – wives struggling with marital disappointment and missed opportunities, celebrating and often betrayed by unexpected friendships – all explored with language that engages and surprises.” —C. Michael Curtis, Fiction Editor, The Atlantic (for Sympathetic People) 

 Enticing Rags-to-Riches-to-Rags Historical Novel Showcases Colorado Woman’s Independence in the Face of Adversity  Award-winning author Donna Baier Stein releasing The Silver Baron’s Wife on September 15, 2016  

A three-time Pushcart nominee and Iowa Fiction Award finalist, Donna Baier Stein masterfully resurrects the rags-to-riches-torags life story of Colorado’s Lizzie Tabor (“Baby Doe”) in her captivating historical novel set to release this September, The Silver Baron’s Wife (Serving House Books, September 15, 2016, Paperback $14.95, Ebook $4.99). An early, unpublished version of the novel won the PEN/New England Discovery Award in Fiction, which isn’t surprising given Stein’s virtuoso ability to shed new light on the complex, scandalous, and unusual true story of one of America’s wealthiest women. 

As a young woman in the 1870s, Lizzie Tabor notoriously defied convention: When her first husband failed as a provider, she descended into the silver mines herself to earn their living. When she caught her husband in a brothel with a young girl, she divorced him. And when she captured the attention of Horace Tabor, a silver baron 30 years her senior, she married him after he left his wife and son amid huge scandal—officially branding Lizzie one of the wealthiest women in America, and a social outcast in Denver society. Lizzie and Horace sent out wedding invitations bordered in solid silver, 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 lost everything with the repeal of the Sherman Silver Act.  

After her second husband’s death, Lizzie moved to a one-room shack at the Matchless Mine where she lived the last 35 years of her life, 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 and gender expectations by working in defiance of 19th century convention, becoming the key figure in the West’s most scandalous love triangle, and, after the Tabor’s vast fortune was destroyed, living in eccentric isolation in her final years.  

DONNA BAIER STEIN is the author of Sympathetic People (Iowa Fiction Award Finalist and 2015 IndieBook Awards Finalist) and Sometimes You Sense the Difference (poetry chapbook), and the recipient of a Bread Loaf Scholarship, Johns Hopkins University MFA Fellowship, Allen E. Ginsberg Poetry Prize, grants from the New Jersey Council on the Arts and Poetry Society of Virginia, and a Scholarship from the Summer Literary Seminars. Her stories and poems have been featured in Virginia Quarterly Review, New York Quarterly, Washingtonian, New Ohio Review, Ascent, and many other journals. Her work has also appeared in the anthologies I’ve Always Meant to Tell You (Pocket Books), To Fathers: What I’ve Never Said (featured in O Magazine), Men and Women: Together and Alone from Spirit That Moves Us Press. 

THE SILVER BARON’S WIFE by Donna Baier Stein Published by Serving House Books, September 15, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-9971010-6-5  $14.95 (paperback), $4.99 (EBook) 

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