Cynn Chadwick. Girls with Hammers. New York: Harrington Park Press, 2004.

Lily Cameron has always done things her way. While she followed her father’s footsteps in her career choice of contracting, she did not join the family business. Instead, Lily founded her own all-female construction company, Girls with Hammers, with her best friend, Cat. The youngest child – and only girl – of seven siblings, Lily is still a tomboy. She drinks, smokes, punches, and curses, although she still has a soft spot. And Lily is in a devoted relationship with Hannah in (fictional) Galway, North Carolina, a small town where homosexuality is discussed in hushed tones.

Lily’s life takes a sudden turn with three events: Cat’s decision to take a teaching position in Scotland, Hannah’s distance – both emotional and physical – as she accepts a fellowship in the Netherlands for a few months, and the unexpected death of Lily’s father. Although Lily would crawl underneath a rock to avoid addressing these changes, she is pushed to action with the reading of her father’s will. Of all of his children, she was the only one who showed interest in the business, so he left Cameron Construction Company to her.

Lily is faced with many challenges in her new role, including the unwillingness of men to work for a woman. Banding together a motley crew of musicians-turned-construction workers, Lily tries to keep the company together. Unfortunately, a spree of vandalism and arson cause the collapse of the company. Lily was happier and less stressed with her small company, so when the opportunity arises to sell the family business, she takes it.

When Hannah returns after six months overseas, Lily is not sure what the state of their relationship will be. However, the time apart brings them closer together, and they begin to consider starting a family. With Hannah back, Girls with Hammers back in business, and plans for an exciting future ahead, Lily finds relief in a return to doing things her way.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Chadwick, Cynn, Mountains, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Romance/Relationship

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