New from bestselling author Kathleen Shoop, The Strongman and the Mermaid (The Donora Story Collection Book 2)
A captivating historic environmental drama wrapped in a love story in Donora, Pennsylvania.
"The mixture of old and new woven together is seamless and holds you under its spell. More vivid than any movie, as the story unfolds you will find yourself laughing, crying, and cheering on Mary and Lukasz, as they navigate a world where the only certainty is a hard life." The Faerie Review
"This book will transport you back in time in a way that makes you step out of your world and into history in Donora. It's a wonderful combination of suspenseful romance, historical fiction, and a family story. It follows Mary and Lukasz through their lives, their challenges, and their happiness. I love how well the story is woven between current times and history." reviews Sanity is for those without children blog
"The Strongman and the Mermaid is a top favorite read. I cannot express how much I enjoyed reading this story; the journey each character took; the emotions that were evoked (everything from embarrassment to anger to protection and love); the struggles that occurred. This will definitely be a book that I will be telling all of my friends to read!" reviews Life as Leels
"Incredibly well-written, a clever concept and felt unique to me as a story. I love that it was a story within a story for me and it had a very ‘old fairytale’/ ‘tale as old as time’ feeling for me. A compelling read and has me hooked." reviews Carly Louise Wilson
2019 Donora, Pennsylvania
Ninety-one-year-old Patryk Rusek hides in his attic, hoping the searchers think he’s escaped. When Lucy finally bursts in, she discovers her beloved grandfather clutching a fat, hand-illustrated, antique book. In it is the story of Donora, the town that shaped America, its people and Patryk himself. Before long, Lucy and her son Owen lose track of their goal to get Grandpa Patryk somewhere “safe” as they’re drawn into the book, back in time, into stories that read like real-life fairytales born of purpose, hard-work, and chance.
1910 Donora, Pennsylvania
In the early dawn of Donora, Pennsylvania, the mills make and shape the steel that builds America. Mary Lancos lives in a home on the hill overlooking town and its mighty Monongahela River. That tiny house bursts with her siblings and boarders. Wind whipping through the walls and windows makes Mary determined to marry well and create a better life.
Shy Pole, Lukasz Musial, arrives in Donora seeking the clear blue skies, green lawns, and better life he’d seen pictured on a postcard. Settled in Donora’s Polish community, Lukasz secures a coveted job in the wire mill. Life is set on course to achieve the American Dream. All he needs is a wife who believes in him, in his mighty, quiet, strength.
After a series of casual, friendly meetings, fate brings Mary and Lukasz to the river under a snowy, pink moonlit sky and everything changes. Their attraction is sudden and consuming, turning the pair onto an unexpected path. With mounting disapproval from Mary’s parents she and Lukasz must decide if love is enough to risk losing everything else that matters.
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