Copper Kingdom by Iris Gower
COPPER KINGDOM is set at the turn of the century in the South Wales town of Sweyn's Eye - the old name for Swansea, where Iris Gower has lived all her life. The story centres around two families and one woman. The families clash through years of class welfare, drama, heartache and love affairs, for in every way they stand opposed. The Richardsons are copper barons - lords of the Sweyn's Eye copper smelting industry, rich, powerful, facing only reluctantly the possibility that their wealth may be in jeopardy as the demand for copper wanes. The Llewelyns are a poor family, facing every day the prospect of unemployment and all its attendant miseries - too poor to afford more than a pauper's funeral when Mrs Llewelyn dies, too proud to allow the neighbours to know. Linking these two very different families is one fiery and determined woman - Mali Llewelyn. On her shoulders rest the burden of the family fortunes. When she is offered a job in the local laundry she takes it - determined to fight her way to prosperity as a businesswoman, while in secret she battles with her hopeless love for Sterling Richardson, heir to the copper kingdom of Sweyn's Eye.