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The Anarchist's Wife: A Novella of the 1920s Sacco and Vanzetti Case by Margo Laurie: A Book Review

The Anarchist’s Wife: A Novella of the 1920s Sacco and Vanzetti Case

Author: Margo Laurie

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Calleia Press

Release Date: 2022

Pages: 180

Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: In 1920, anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused of a robbery and double murder at a factory in Massachusetts. The case became one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice of the twentieth century.


     The Anarchist's Wife is a poignant historical fiction novella which reimagines this American tragedy from the perspective of Rosa Sacco. Her husband was likely innocent of the crime he was accused of, but his possible involvement in anarchist violence was a far murkier question.


     My Review: The Anarchist’s Wife tells the story of the Sacco and Vanzetti case from the perspective of Nicola Sacca’s Wife, Rosa Sacco. The story tells of Rosa’s courtship and marriage to Nicola Sacco. Her husband has anarchist’s views which took a bit of persuasion for her family to give permission for their wedding. She spends most of her time raising her children. One day, Rosa’s husband is accused of robbery and double murder at a factory in Massachusetts. He is eventually found guilty and is executed, though many presume he is innocent. Rosa writes a memoir to dedicate to her daughter, Ines, so that she can get to know her father.


     I really liked Rosa. She was very intelligent and a strong-willed woman. She is also a caring mother. I also like how she is very devoted to her husband, Nicola. Even though she isn’t sure if he is innocent, she always sticks by him and does not abandon him. Therefore, I admire Rosa’s tenacity. I was interested to know her ending.


     Overall, this novel is about love, family, and violence. Aside from Rosa, I was not invested in any of the characters, especially her husband. Nicola seemed very shady in the beginning, but I could see Rosa’s love for him. I also found the writing to be very stilted and the chapters flowed unevenly at times. There were also parts of the book that felt rushed while others parts of the novella seemed to drag. Nevertheless, it was still a very moving and heart-wrenching read. Rosa’s story is very tragic. I had never heard of the case before so this story was very illuminating. The story is meticulously researched, and made the Roaring 20s come alive. The Anarchist’s Wife is a must read for those who love true crime. I recommend this for fans of Fred and Edie, Black Water, and Quiet Dell!


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


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