Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Tabacco Wives by Adele Myers


North Carolina, 1946. One woman. A discovery that could rewrite history. 

Maddie Sykes is a burgeoning seamstress who’s just arrived in Bright Leaf, North Carolina—the tobacco capital of the South—where her aunt has a thriving sewing business. After years of war rations and shortages, Bright Leaf is a prosperous wonderland in full technicolor bloom, and Maddie is dazzled by the bustle of the crisply uniformed female factory workers, the palatial homes, and, most of all, her aunt’s glossiest clientele: the wives of the powerful tobacco executives.

But she soon learns that Bright Leaf isn’t quite the carefree paradise that it seems. A trail of misfortune follows many of the women, including substantial health problems, and although Maddie is quick to believe that this is a coincidence, she inadvertently uncovers evidence that suggests otherwise.

Maddie wants to report what she knows, but in a town where everyone depends on Big Tobacco to survive, she doesn’t know who she can trust—and fears that exposing the truth may destroy the lives of the proud, strong women with whom she has forged strong bonds.

Shedding light on the hidden history of women’s activism during the post-war period, at its heart, The Tobacco Wives is a deeply human, emotionally satisfying, and dramatic novel about the power of female connection and the importance of seeking truth.


This book was so good! I have been wanting to read this book from the first time I heard about it.... The premise, the cover, the writing....all amazing...what a fantastic debut. I can't thank my partners Bibliolifestyle and William Morrow books enough for having me on this book tour! 

The south in the 1940's...I never imagined how big of a role the Tabacco Industry played. It was almost as if the owners were royalty. I could picture the glamourous woman in their fancy dresses...smoking their cigarettes. Everything....and I do mean everything...revolved around...cigarettes- jobs, social events...even motherhood...that's right ladies...light up to calm your nerves a bit while you are pregnant. 

What I loved most about this book is that it really made me think about " how far we have come baby." You will only get that line if you are of a certain generation. Remember- Joe the Camel? How about asking to sit in the smoking or non smoking section at a restaurant? Wow we have come a long way.

So this book really begs to question- when exactly did Big Tabacco realize the dangers of smoking? Tabacco being such a big part of their lives in NC that literally everyone had a tie with it. It was so interesting and eye opening to learn more about this time in history. 

I loved Maddie's story and I really enjoyed how it wrapped up. Intriguing, entertaining and an absolutely wonderful debut. 

Adele Myers grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and has a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently works in advertising and lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, son, and their rescue dog Chipper. The Tobacco Wives is her first novel.

Adele Myers (

Adele Myers (@adelejam) • Instagram photos and videos

Adele Myers Author (@adelejam) / Twitter

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