In the Pacific Northwest of the early 20th century, the Dolans live by their wits, jumping freight trains and lining up for day work. While 16-year-old Rye yearns for a steady job and a home, his brother, Gig, prefers fighting alongside other union men for better pay. Enter Ursula the Great, an alluring vaudeville singer backed by a dangerous mining magnate. Gig is infatuated, while Rye is drawn to a 19-year-old activist named Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. But in this novel by the author of Beautiful Ruins, a storm is coming, and Rye will be forced to decide where he stands. Is it enough to win the occasional battle, even if you cannot win the war?
"Irresistible hobo brothers, an evil tycoon, a pregnant union organizer, a burlesque star, and a shady private eye light up a tale of the great Northwest in the early 20th century…. This tour de force is testimony to Walter's protean storytelling power and astounding ability to set a scene, any scene."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)