The Furnace (Juniata Iron Trilogy, #1)
Elinor Bratton, young, beautiful, and privileged is pregnant and cast aside by her lover, the wealthy and spoiled scion of a eastern Pennsylvania family. As a result she is forced by her father into an arranged marriage to a man she barely knows. Adam MacPhail, a common iron worker whose only wish is to become an iron master agrees to the match as a means of realizing his dream. Ellie’s father, Stephen Bratton, well to do, well connected and determined to save his daughter’s reputation, orchestrates the union — not as Ellie would have it, but as he sees fit. So begins a marriage in a time when a woman had no voice, no rights, no say in matters directly pertaining to her. Ellie, exiled to the wilderness of western Pennsylvania with a man she would not have considered three months before, declares her intention to make Adam’s life miserable and make her father pay for his high-handed disregard for her rights. Adam, unschooled in dealing with women, chooses to focus his energy and attention on turning a down and out iron furnace into a profitable, well-ordered producer. Through the first half of the nineteenth century, the couple struggle to establish a life, disentangle an ill-conceived marriage, and make a success of a derelict furnace through the ups and downs of an unpredictable industry. Volume One of The Juniata Iron Trilogy, The Furnace chronicles Ellie and Adam’s efforts to find a balance and build an enterprise worthy of Pennsylvania’s iron industry, producing Juniata Iron, the finest in the world.
Looking for Jane
“The nuns use this as their measuring stick: who your people are. Well, what if you don’t have no people? Or any you know of? What then? Are you doomed?” This is the nagging question of fifteen-year-old Nell’s life. Born with a cleft palate and left a foundling on the doorstep of a convent, she yearns to know her mother, whose name, she knows, was Jane.
When the Mother Superior tries to pawn her off to a mean looking farmer and his beaten down wife, Nell opts for the only alternative she can see: she runs away. A chance encounter with a dime novel exhorting the exploits of Calamity Jane, heroine of the west, gives Nell the purpose of her life: to find Calamity Jane, who Nell is convinced is her mother.
Her quest takes her down rivers, up rivers and across the Badlands to Deadwood, South Dakota and introduces her to Soot, a big, lovable black dog, and Jeremy Chatterfield, a handsome young Englishman who isn’t particular about how he makes his way, as long as he doesn’t have to work for it. Together they trek across the country meeting characters as wonderful and bizarre as the adventure they seek, learning about themselves and the world along the way.
Waterproof: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
Fifty years after an earthen dam broke and sent a thirty foot wall of raging destruction down on the city of Johnstown, PA, Pamela McRae looks back on the tragedy with new perspective.
When the flood hit, it wiped out Pam’s fondest hopes, taking her fiancé and her brother’s lives and her mother’s sanity, and within a year her father walked away, leaving his daughter
—now the sole support of her mother—to cope with poverty and loneliness.
The arrival of Katya, a poor Hungarian girl running away from an arranged marriage, finally gives Pam the chance she needs to get back into the world; Katya can care for her mother, and Pam can go to work for the Johnstown Clarion as a society reporter.
Then Davy Hughes, Pam’s fiancé before the flood, reappears and, instead of being the answer to her prayers, further complicates her life. Someone is seeking revenge on the owners of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, the Pittsburgh millionaires who owned the failed dam, and Pam is afraid Davy has something to do with it.
Redfield Farm: A Novel of the Underground Railroad
Ann Redfield is destined to follow her brother Jesse through life – two years behind him – all the way. Jesse is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and Ann follows him there as well.
Quakers filled with a conviction as hard as Pennsylvania limestone that slavery is an abomination to be resisted with any means available, the Redfield brother and sister lie, sneak, masquerade and defy their way past would-be enforcers of the hated Fugitive Slave Law.
Their activities inevitably lead to complicated relationships when Jesse returns from a run with a deadly fever, accompanied by a fugitive, Josiah, who is also sick and close to death. Ann nurses both back to health. But precious time is lost, and Josiah, too weak for winter travel, stays on at Redfield Farm. Ann becomes his teacher, friend and confidant. When grave disappointment disrupts her life, Ann turns to Josiah for comfort, and comfort leads to intimacy. The result, both poignant and inspiring, leads to a life long devotion to one another and their cause.
About the Author
Judith Redline Coopey, born in Altoona, PA holds degrees from the Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University. A passion for history inherited from her father drives her writing and a love for Pennsylvania sustains it. Her first book, Redfield Farm was the story of the Underground Railroad in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The second, Waterproof, tells how the 1889 Johnstown Flood nearly destroyed a whole city and one young woman’s life. Looking For Jane is a quest for love and family in the 1890s brought to life through the eyes of Nell, a young girl convinced that Calamity Jane is her mother. Her most recent work, The Furnace: Volume One of the Juniata Iron Trilogy, is set on an iron plantation near where she grew up and tells the story of an ill conceived marriage of convenience as it plays out over a lifetime. As a teacher, writer and student of history, Ms Coopey finds her inspiration in the rich history of her native state and in stories of the lives of those who have gone before.