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I absolutely loved this book and keep recommending it to anyone who loves to learn about history through story The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and the fire that killed so many women is not exactly up there in history classes with the wars, kings and blah de blah public schools keep feeding our children Its time and place and workers come alive in this book a sadly eerie affect for me too while reading it was the strange mirror of the women jumping stepping out of the 7th and 8th floor windows to fall to their deaths rather than be burnt alive, reflected in the images of people doing the same from the Twin Towers on 9 11 There is the equally important contemporary story, as well, of the survivor of the fire, her niece, and her niece s partner, who is the rather genius musician We see the fragility and strength of human memory, which is never separate from our emotions, desires, our grief and our hopes Live long enough, and memory becomes a web, rewoven if broken, perhaps seeming to look different to the eye but made from the same silk as the original experience It can also be woven by another through compassion, empathy, anger or loss into music The metaphors of triangles throughout the book was delightful And I have to tell you, I was compelled to go online after reading Triangle not only to look upinfo on the original fire, but to look up Serpinski triangles and guess what There are sites online that actually play music that computer generated stuff based on Serpinski triangles At least it gave me a notion however digital of what math might sound like. I first learned about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in my women s studies class my freshman year of college I saw this book on the shelf and pulled it off in the hopes that it might center around this event, and it did, but it did so muchNot only did this give an incredibly vivid account of what it must have been like to work in the factory and also be in the fire, but it also described life as an immigrant, a worker with no rights, and a woman living around the turn of the century I also loved Rebecca s partner, George though normally sublplots like that have me bored and skimming, I was mesmerized by George and how he composes I found myself enjoying those parts as much as the parts about the fire.If that wasn t enough, Weber makes this into a mystery as her grandmother s account of the fire has some holes in it This was a great, quick read Recommend it highly. I am still completely under the spell of this book it kept me up past one in the morning because I couldn t put it down until I had finished reading The novel introduces us to Rebecca Gottesfeld, her partner, the composer George Botkin, and Rebecca s grandmother Esther, the last living survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire As we follow their lives in New York City over the late summer and fall of 2001, we are also often plunged into the past as we hear, over and over, Esther s account of the fire which was, until 9 11, New York s most devastating workplace disaster we read Esther s courtroom testimony, transcripts of her interviews with a scholar researching the fire, and the story she has told Rebecca and George As we read, we discover slight inconsistencies in Esther s story and start to realize they they might not just be the result of an elderly woman s faulty memory It is a tightly woven novel that knits together the three individual stories and the two huge disasters in a delicate and haunting piece of writing. The novel is based on the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 in which 146 people died, mostly young immigrant women The chapters dealing with the fire were superb and i was also caught up in the story of one survivor s granddaughter and the granddauhter s husband But wile George s musical theories were interesting, they belonged in a different book Here, they were too much of a distraction, being completely peripheral to the main story I m really sorry that the feminist historian was a caricature rather than a real person I know that academics are ripe for parody and I have no problem with that But does any scholar actually use the term herstory This character abandoned reality to become a silly cartoon and that detracted from my enjoyment of the novel Esther s big secret was pretty obvious early on, but that wasn t really an impediment to enjoying the book All in all, the book is worth reading, but i wish it had lived up to its potential. The author cleverly brings together a work of historical fiction, a unique theory of music composition, and the story of a contemporary relationship The historical fiction centers around the notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the personal story of its oldest survivor and her recollection of the horrendous conditions of the workers who were primarily immigrants There s a mystery surrounding the circumstances of her survival which unfolds as the story of her granddaughter and her relationship with a brilliant musician develops Playing into the mix of characters is a caricature of a driven feminist historian and her own research about the fire An interesting read for sure Thanks for the loan of the book, Marilyn. When historical fiction is done well, it s my favorite genre, but when an author takes too many liberties with the facts, it really gets on my nerves This author not only invented fictional victims of the Triangle Fire, she tried to pull off a surprise ending, and frankly, I just didn t get it The only reason I m giving the book 2 stars instead of the hated 1 is that the characters were compelling enough to keep me reading till the end The herstorian feminist historian was especially, albeit hatefully, well done.If you want to learn about the Triangle Fire, don t bother with this book Instead I recommendTriangle The Fire That Changed Americaby David von Drehle Why try and learn history through fiction when you can read a real history that s as gripping as a novel .DOWNLOAD EBOOK ♈ Triangle ♗ Esther Gottesfeld Is The Last Living Survivor Of The NotoriousTriangle Shirtwaist Fire And Has Told Her Story Countless Times In The Span Of Her Lifetime Even So, Her Death At The Age OfLeaves Unanswered Many Questions About What Happened That Fateful Day How Did She Manage To Survive The Fire When At LeastWorkers, Most Of Them Women, Her Sister And Fiance Among Them, Burned Or Jumped To Their Deaths From The Sweatshop Inferno Are The Discrepancies In Her Various Accounts Over The Years Just Ordinary Human Fallacy, Or Is There A Hidden Story In Esther S Recollections Of That Terrible Day Esther S Granddaughter Rebecca Gottesfeld, With Her Partner George Botkin, An Ingenious Composer, Seek To Unravel The Facts Of The Matter While Ruth Zion, A Zealous Feminist Historian Of The Fire, Bores In On Them With Her Own Mole Like Agenda A Brilliant, Haunting Novel About One Of The Most Terrible Tragedies In Early Twentieth Century America, Triangle Forces Us To Consider How We Tell Our Stories, How We Hear Them, And How History Is Forged From Unverifiable Truths Usually I know right where I m going when I write a review but this book has me a bit stymied because of its thematic content It is brilliant and beautifully written, literate and musical at the same time It tackles great themes and does it subtly yet with a great strength It is one of the finest books I ve ever read.The story is about the Triangle Factory fire which was, prior to 9 11, the worst tragedy that ever befell New York One hundred forty six men, women and children were killed in a fire that occurred in a sweat shop on the lower east side of Manhattan This fire helped spur unions to grow and protect workers Had there been exits available when the fire occurred, almost all of the deaths could have been prevented As the story opens, Esther Gottesfeld is 106 years old, the oldest survivor of the 1911 tragedy It is shortly after 9 11 and the two events are synchronous in the story telling Esther is being interviewed by an arrogant feminist scholar, Ruth Zion, who is trying to find out information about the fire and pry secrets out of Esther Esther is too wise and cagey for Ruth Zion to get very far.The story is also about Esther s granddaughter, Rebecca, who lives with George Botkin, the most famous composer of contemporary U.S music He writes music about DNA strands, chemistry, echinacea, and Huntington s Disease which he may have inherited His music is loved by a wide audience.The story weaves back and forth in time and between characters The strongest parts of the book are those about Esther while the most original parts of the book are about George and Rebecca There are secrets to be found out and secrets to be kept One fascinating theme in the book is the connections between the Triangle Fire, 9 11, and music another triangle We find out that Rebecca and George share similar DNA strands For two people very much in love, this seems serendipitous but also sweet.The ending of this book is dreamlike and written in stream of consciousness I could not come up for air as its beauty swept me with it like a tide The last 40 pages are as beautiful as anything I ve ever read I highly recommend this book. This book is beautifully written, haunting, and thought provoking As I read this historical tale cum mystery, I wanted my stepson to read it musical composition , my walking partner to read it ethical questions , my colleagues to read it can we use it in class are feminist scholars that , my book club to read it Triangle Fire and its resonances in the Jewish community and I could not put it down.The novel traces the parallel lives of Esther Gottesfeld, the last known survivor of the Triangle Factory fire, and her granddaughter Rebecca Esther s story is partly re told through newspaper articles, transcripts of interviews, and the trial transcripts Her encounters with Ruth Zion, feminist herstorical scholar specializing in the Triangle fire provide much food for thought and not a little squirming do historians really ask those kinds of questions are actions over thought and incorrectly interpreted Rebecca s care for her grandmother, for her composer beau, and for her patient clients as a genetic counselor are all knit together in surprising, and moving ways I learned some new things, and have been re examining some known issues A tremendously enjoyable read This book had so much potential, but didn t live up to it for me.Esther is the last living survivor of the 1911 Triangle factory fire How did she manage to survive on a day when so many others died, including her twin sister, Pauline, and her fiance, Sam Ruth, a feminist historian, is determined to take a thorough and accurate oral history She senses that Esther isn t being consistent and is determined to find out why, through repeated interviews If the book had just been those interviews and Esther s story, I would have loved it It was riveting Unfortunately, there s a second storyline that deals with Rebecca, Esther s granddaughter, and the work that Rebecca s husband does he s a composer whose music is based on formulations found in nature, especially genetic codes This part dragged I was so anxious to get back to what felt like the real meat of the story.There s a difficult and delicate balance to find when alternating narratives like this, and this book just didn t have that necessary balance for me But the parts dealing with Esther were compelling, and I would recommend those to interested readers.