12 amazing women who face insurmountable odds... Frontier Grit by Marianne Monson (Blog Tour Review)

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer WomenFrontier Grit:
The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women
by Marianne Monson
Nonfiction, LDS
Hardcover & ebook, 208 Pages
September 6th 2016 by Shadow Mountain


Follow in the footsteps of the most courageous women on the frontier with Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women by Marianne Monson.  This historical nonfiction helps readers feel empowered to defy stereotypes as they experience the stories of these 12 trailblazing women who settled the west.

Discover the stories of twelve women who “heard the call” to settle the west and who came from all points of the globe to begin their journey. As a slave, Clara watched helpless as her husband and children were sold, only to be reunited with her youngest daughter, as a free woman, six decades later. As a young girl, Charlotte hid her gender to escape a life of poverty and became the greatest stagecoach driver that ever lived. As a Native American, Gertrude fought to give her people a voice and to educate leaders about the ways and importance of America’s native people.
These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. Many were crusaders for social justice and women’s rights. All endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world.

Some of the stories include:
·        Nellie Cashman- A nurse, businesswoman, and gold prospector
·        Aunt Clara Brown- A former slave who became a community leader
·        Abigail Scott Duniway- An Oregon Trail suffragette
·        Marth Hughes Cannon- A frontier doctor, state senator, and women’s rights activist

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

FRONTIER GRIT is a compilation of stories about twelve women who made their mark on the open frontier of the historical US. These women lived vastly different lives, but a few things were common among them, namely the challenges they faced and their perseverance and ingenuity. Readers who enjoy learning interesting historical tidbits and finding inspiration from women of the past are sure to enjoy learning about these exceptional women. Highly recommended!

The stories were organized well, short enough to hold the reader's interest, while also being long enough to convey a good summary of each woman's life. Each story is based on facts as well as some references to folklore and rumors. The author also discusses what she draws from each story and a question or statement to the reader to encourage some thought or personal application. It would have been nice to have samples of historical documents (newspapers, journal entries, etc.) as part of the book or some direct quotes separated from the text just to break up the text more and make it even more interesting, but that would be the only thing that could have been improved. Each woman's picture is at the beginning of her story, which definitely enhances the text and helps to build a connection between these stories and the reader.

I found the collection to be very intriguing. It was humorous, though-provoking, heart-wrenching, and I felt an overall sense of awe of these women and the things they faced and succeeded in. This was an amazing group of women, women that I don't remember hearing about before or studying in any school textbooks. What stood out to me as well was how compassionate they were as well.

My favorite story would have to be of Charley Parkhurst, "the most celebrated stagecoach driver in the west." She was fearless, smart, and fierce. She'd have to be to drive a stagecoach in the wild west. I thought the description that she was "short, thin, and wiry, with a high-pitched voice" especially interesting after finding out that she had deceived many (although I think people sometimes see only what they want to see). To quote from the book:

Her fame passed into the stuff of legends when it was discovered at her death that she was not, in fact, born male, as most people had assumed during her adult life.

To use some old-fashioned slang, "Don't that just beat all!" What an interesting story and that's only one of the twelve.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This was such an interesting and amazing set of stories about women who truly were balking at conventional traditions for women and making their mark. These are stories definitely worth reading and sharing with others.

Content: Some mild swearing, but clean.

Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author

Since she was a very young child, Marianne Monson has been fascinated by the power of words (and even tried inventing her own language for a time). After earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from BYU, she continued her study at Vermont College of Fine Arts, earning an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Since then, she has worked as an editor/art director of children’s books, authored eight books and counting for children and adults, and continues editing and writing for a variety of audiences, including magazines, books, blogs, and other publications.

She teaches Creative Writing and English at Portland Community College. Her two children are often featured in her work (and are self-confessed logophiles as well).

Shadow Mountain Publishing -

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