Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review: Women of the Frontier by Brandon Marie Miller

Title: Women of the Frontier
Author: Brandon Marie Miller
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Publish Date: February 1, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the PR; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a non-fiction fan.
  • You're a history buff.
What's the Story?:

From "Using journal entries, letters home, and song lyrics, the women of the West speak for themselves in these tales of courage, enduring spirit, and adventure. Women such as Amelia Stewart Knight traveling on the Oregon Trail, homesteader Miriam Colt, entrepreneur Clara Brown, army wife Frances Grummond, actress Adah Isaacs Menken, naturalist Martha Maxwell, missionary Narcissa Whitman, and political activist Mary Lease are introduced to readers through their harrowing stories of journeying across the plains and mountains to unknown land. Recounting the impact pioneers had on those who were already living in the region as well as how they adapted to their new lives and the rugged, often dangerous landscape, this exploration also offers resources for further study and reveals how these influential women tamed the Wild West."

My Two Cents:

Here's what I can tell you about myself after reading this book: while I like camping (only May through September and not including July, thank you very much) and being outdoors, I would have made an absolutely terrible pioneer. I am very sorry Great (times 8) Grandfather Boone; I have surely failed you (yeah, Daniel Boone is my eighth great grandfather who would be ashamed of my non-pioneering prowess). It's amazing to think how much some of the people who went West during the 1800s and the Westward Expansion movement went through. This book covers all of that.

Part history book, part biography, "Women of the Frontier" tells the story of women who left the East behind to make new lives in the middle and western part of America. Geared for young adult readers, this book is a great introduction for anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the massive expansion of our country. The book has profiles of women and their trials and tribulations. Some of the notable figures that are covered are Carry Nation (the infamous teetotaler) and Margaret, a member of the Donner party. Out of all of the stories in the book, Margaret's story probably most made me decide that I would have been a complete failure as a pioneer. Creepy! I also really liked Carry Nation's story. It was interesting to see where she came from and why she believed that alcohol was so evil and why she fought so hard for Prohibition.

This book is fairly basic as far as history goes. Like I said before, this book is really just an introduction to frontier life. It is not all inclusive but is a great start. It definitely whet my appetite for more.


1 comment:

  1. I lean more toward fiction than non-fiction, but this sounds like a good jumping off point for reading about pioneers. I've read historical fiction about the times, but seeing some of the real life women would be interesting.


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