In her first novel since The
God of War, 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 singular 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 has any
way of knowing that their chance encounter has produced 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 of deep courage,
private passions, and carefully guarded secrets; Vera Dare, the ambitious
photographer who chooses to leave her children in order to pursue her creative
work; and Walker Dodge, a present-day
professor of cultural history who discovers a family mystery embedded in the
In luminous, exquisitely observed prose, Silver creates an
extraordinary tale from a brief moment in history that explores meaning behind
memory and identity. Though a great photograph can capture the essence of a
moment, in the end, the image only scratches the surface of the truth. Download and start listening now!