Set in the 1930s, Taylor’s suspenseful and intricate follow-up to Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night tells the story of sisters Violet and Lily Morgan. When 16-year-old Lily becomes pregnant out of wedlock, Violet follows her to the Good Shepherd Infant Asylum in Philadelphia. The nuns promise good homes to all babies born under their roof, but unbeknownst to them, the lead physician at the asylum is practicing eugenics and sterilizing the expecting mothers who pass through their doors. As the girls’ visit comes to a close, Violet makes a rash decision that will alter not only her relationship with her sister, but her future with her fiancé, and her entire existence in her hometown of Scranton, Pa. Taylor delivers startling plot twists and incisive commentary on the social unrest of a coal-mining town during the Great Depression. Covering a six-year span, the novel reveals the consequences of arduous labor and widespread sterilizations that came with the eugenics movement. Among the prostitutes, mobsters, and miners is a web of interconnected lives that come together for a breathtaking ending in Taylor’s fine sequel. (July)
I adore scrappy Violet, the eight-year-old protagonist of this novel, who is blamed by just about everybody in Scranton, a hardscrabble, blue-collar town in Pennsylvania’s coal mining country, for causing her nine-year-old sister’s death. Even though the community sits in judgement of her and her family, Violet refuses to conform to others’ expectations of how she should behave in the wake of this tragedy. The author says that this novel was inspired by an event that actually occurred in her own family decades ago. It’s a profound story of how one unforeseen event may tear a family apart, but another can just as unexpectedly bring them back together again. —Claire Kirch, midwest correspondent…View full article
I think of my novel, Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night, as a love letter to my family, friends, and hometown of Scranton, PA. I started this journey with nothing more than a few details about a family tragedy and a legendary blizzard in the early 1900s. After years of writing and rewriting and rewriting again (and again and again …), I’m humbled to hold the published manuscript in my hand and honored to present it to readers.
Scranton native Barbara Taylor talks about her debut novel, “Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night” on ArtScene with Erika Funke on WVIA-FM. Listen to the full Podcast here.
ArtScene, with Erika Funke is a daily short program which brings attention to the area’s arts and cultural events. Join her weekdays at 11:00am for interviews, reviews and commentaries on films, books, jazz, and classical music.