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Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

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These are 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: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New Zealand. They endured unimaginable hardships just to get to their destination and then the next phase of the story begins. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, se These are 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: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New Zealand. They endured unimaginable hardships just to get to their destination and then the next phase of the story begins. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. All the women in this book did extraordinary things. One became a stagecoach driver, disguised as a man. One became a frontier doctor. One was a Gold Rush hotel and restaurant entrepreneur. Many were crusaders for social justice and women's rights. All endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world, for which there are inspiring lessons to be learned for the modern woman.  


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These are 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: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New Zealand. They endured unimaginable hardships just to get to their destination and then the next phase of the story begins. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, se These are 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: the East Coast, Europe, and as far away as New Zealand. They endured unimaginable hardships just to get to their destination and then the next phase of the story begins. These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. All the women in this book did extraordinary things. One became a stagecoach driver, disguised as a man. One became a frontier doctor. One was a Gold Rush hotel and restaurant entrepreneur. Many were crusaders for social justice and women's rights. All endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world, for which there are inspiring lessons to be learned for the modern woman.  

30 review for Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    Fragments of their stained, complicated, gloriously real lives have been passed onto us... Marianne Monson assembled short biographies of twelve incredible pioneer women. Each chapter starts with a picture and a quote. It was truly a joy to read about them. Nellie Chasman: Gold Rush "Boomer" - She made a home in the wildest of company - braving the wilderness, greedy miners and numerous soul-crushing setbacks. She took advantage of all the cooking-shy men and opened restaurants wherever she Fragments of their stained, complicated, gloriously real lives have been passed onto us... Marianne Monson assembled short biographies of twelve incredible pioneer women. Each chapter starts with a picture and a quote. It was truly a joy to read about them. Nellie Chasman: Gold Rush "Boomer" - She made a home in the wildest of company - braving the wilderness, greedy miners and numerous soul-crushing setbacks. She took advantage of all the cooking-shy men and opened restaurants wherever she went. In her later years, when her children were begging her to settle down....she packed up her things on a dogsled and traveled 750miles - in her seventies! Aunt Clara Brown: A Woman in a Thousand - She began life as a slave but when her master died, she was able to buy her freedom. She spent the remainder of her life searching for her lost child. Many a time she had to start over her life but she eventually became one of the wealthiest women in the west. She then invested her money into starting a church and paid to ship former slaves out of the south. Abigail Scott Duniway: Organ Trail Suffragette - Abigail always longed to be a writer and support herself. Unfortunately, this was the times where women could not vote because: Abigail was told by a judge, "Of course, being ladies, you wouldn't be expected to understand the intracaties of the law." Abigail retorted, "No, but we are expected to know enough to foot the bills." Abigail spent the remainder of her life fighting for the women's right to vote for her state - she even waged a decades long battle against her brother (owner of a prominent newspaper). She won at age 78 after spending most of her life on this cause. Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton: First Mexican-American Frontier - She held a homestead against looters, squatters and racists for decades. Loopholes in the law literally allowed people to legally steal her land but her backbone was ramrod straight. She succeeded in turning a profit year after year and wrote novels to persuade others to her cause. Luzena Stanley Wilson: Frontier Entrepreneur - Throughout countless setbacks - from floods to fires to poverty - she held her family together and brought home the bacon. She did everything from starting a restaurant from her wagon to teaching the local children. Mother Jones: She Could Not Be Silenced - She has reached an almost mythical status. Mother Jones was actually much younger than she appeared but held onto the guise of an old woman to command and maintain respect in the eyes of the public. She campaigned relentlessly for the rights of children and low-income laborers. Zitkala-Sa: Dakota Sioux Rights Activist and Writer - Plucked from her family at a young age, she was given a white education which, while filling her head with knowledge, sought to stamp out everything remotely Indian about her. She in turn used her education to fight for the rights of her people - even when they were not remotely interested in accepting her aid. Mary Hallock Foote: Mining Town Author and Illustrator - She always longed to be an illustrator and achieved fame during her time. After she passed, Wallace Stegner decided to write a book - he eventually wrote Angle of Repose which featured many a passage lifted directly from her writings without acknowledgement. He won a Pulitzer Prize. When he was found out, he justified it by claiming that she was not particularly interesting. Martha Hughes Cannon: Frontier Doctor and First Female Senator - She wanted to become a doctor, and so she did. She wanted to be the third wife of Angus, and so she did. She wanted to become the First Female Senator, and so she did. Donaldina Cameron : The Most Loved and Feared Woman in in Chinatown - What an absolute badass. Donaldina spent one year teaching rescued sex-slaves Asian girls how to sew...and winds up devoting her entire life to saving these children. She even stood up a meeting with the president cause she heard a girl was in need. Charley Parkhurst: Most Celebrated Stagecoach Driver in the West - No one ever knew Charley was a girl. When she was a young orphan, she was found sleeping in a stable. Her discoverer assumed that Charley was a boy....and she never corrected him. She assumed the mantle of Charley and took over one of the most difficult jobs of the west. Makaopiopio: The Spirit of Aloha - She was among the colonist from Hawaii to travel to the mainland. She helped establish a settlement and devoted her life to her growing community. The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge- A book about feminism YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat @miranda.reads Happy Reading!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 Twelve women, women who fought for social justice and equality during a time when it was considered that their place was in the home. Nellie Cashman, first woman gold prospector in Alaska, Clara Brown born a slave, sold separately from her husband and child, would buy her freedom and search for her child. My favorite though I respect all these gutsy women who didn't let their sex define them, was Charlotte, aka Charlie. To escape a lifetime of poverty she didguised herself as a man and becam 3.5 Twelve women, women who fought for social justice and equality during a time when it was considered that their place was in the home. Nellie Cashman, first woman gold prospector in Alaska, Clara Brown born a slave, sold separately from her husband and child, would buy her freedom and search for her child. My favorite though I respect all these gutsy women who didn't let their sex define them, was Charlotte, aka Charlie. To escape a lifetime of poverty she didguised herself as a man and became of the greatest and bravest stagecoach drivers. Her story is fictionalized in the The Whip, a book I loved. In 1868 she would become the first woman voter, though of course until her death everyone thought her a man. Gutsy woman. At little over 200 pages, non of these trailblazing women are extensively covered. It does though give one a starting point if one, like myself, wishes to further investgate. I listened to this on Hoopla, the narrator, Caroline Schaffer, was very good.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Munson does a short chapter that covers the entire life of a woman worthy of recognition. Obviously, that's pretty much just a sketch, but she did a great job. As pointed out here: Some lives are already well-documented, while others deserve wider recognition and novelists are sure to find inspiration in each story, such as that of Clara Brown, the former Virginian slave, or Zitkala-Sa, Sioux musician and activist, or Donaldina Cameron from New Zealand, who rescued Chinese girls from forced labor Munson does a short chapter that covers the entire life of a woman worthy of recognition. Obviously, that's pretty much just a sketch, but she did a great job. As pointed out here: Some lives are already well-documented, while others deserve wider recognition and novelists are sure to find inspiration in each story, such as that of Clara Brown, the former Virginian slave, or Zitkala-Sa, Sioux musician and activist, or Donaldina Cameron from New Zealand, who rescued Chinese girls from forced labor in San Francisco, or Welsh immigrant to Utah, Martha Hughes Cannon, who became the first female State Senator and defeated her own husband on the ballot – a husband she just happened to share with several other wives! While the above didn't care for Monson's opinions at the end of each chapter, I liked them. Monson made it clear that she would do so & then told what she got out of each woman's life. I can't say I fully agreed with her, but she had some good points. It lets the reader know why she chose to present some aspects of the woman's story while downplaying or failing to mention others, something that is inevitable given the small amount of space each got. I also liked how she pointed out the contradictions in their lives. Made them more human. She also brought out a lot of historical facts that I hadn't fully appreciated before. For instance, while I vaguely knew that trafficking in young Chinese girls was once a really bad problem in 1900 San Francisco, I never understood why. She explained the discriminatory laws that didn't give the Chinese any choice but to break the law. Once broken, the most profitable burgeoned. Stupid. For its size, this was a great read. It really humanized & brought these historical figures to life. Highly recommended for all, but I think it is a YA history meant for teaching. I'm an older guy & liked it, but kids from 10 & up would get a lot out of it. Very cool.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dorine

    Frontier Grit by Marianne Monson brings the adventure, ingenuity and extraordinary fearlessness of American pioneer women to life. As a huge fan of the pioneer spirit, I enjoyed learning about the women who shaped our country from this book. I’m normally a fiction reader, but the lack of enough authentic frontier fiction to keep me entertained led me to this book. The cover caught my eye right away. I couldn’t wait to find out who these women were and how they overcame obstacles. Frontier Grit wa Frontier Grit by Marianne Monson brings the adventure, ingenuity and extraordinary fearlessness of American pioneer women to life. As a huge fan of the pioneer spirit, I enjoyed learning about the women who shaped our country from this book. I’m normally a fiction reader, but the lack of enough authentic frontier fiction to keep me entertained led me to this book. The cover caught my eye right away. I couldn’t wait to find out who these women were and how they overcame obstacles. Frontier Grit was more than I expected. The volume of research completed in order to compile these stories is amazing. I especially appreciated the footnotes and further reading suggestions. In addition to the facts and storytelling, there is a commentary by the author for each story where she adds her thoughts. This keeps the history from becoming monotonous and makes each chapter thought-provoking. The last chapter and final paragraphs are a good challenge. I wonder who will be our next pioneer women and what they’ll discover? I started out taking notes after each story to talk about my favorites in my review. Halfway through, I realized each woman became a favorite as I read about her. What these women overcame is inconceivable to me. So many of them failed, or were faced with heartrending circumstances, and yet, they continued to strive toward their goals. One woman started so many businesses that were destroyed by some calamity that I couldn’t believe she’d just start all over again. There wasn’t much that stopped these women and I think that’s what I liked best about this book. It inspires. If you need ambition or inspiration for your own life, it doesn’t hurt to read about women who surmounted more odds than I think any of us will experience in our lifetime. It’s hard to imagine living without the conveniences we have today, as well as embarking on a journey into the unknown with nothing but our inner strength to guide us. Every family with daughters or granddaughters should have a print copy of Frontier Grit to pass on. We need to know who laid the path before us in order to appreciate all the opportunities we have today. Our own unique frontier grit is deep inside each of us if we dream big and believe we can do it. Reviewed by Dorine, courtesy of The Zest Quest. Digital advanced reader copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joy D

    This book contains a number of minibiographies of women who settled in the American west in the 19th century. The author has done a good job of selecting women of diverse backgrounds. She encourages today’s woman to take inspiration from history. The women include: - Nellie Cashman – nurse, businesswoman, miner, and dog musher in the Yukon Gold Rush - Clara Brown – born in slavery whose family was sold, eventually bought her freedom to search for her children - Abigail Scott Duniway – a pioneer of This book contains a number of minibiographies of women who settled in the American west in the 19th century. The author has done a good job of selecting women of diverse backgrounds. She encourages today’s woman to take inspiration from history. The women include: - Nellie Cashman – nurse, businesswoman, miner, and dog musher in the Yukon Gold Rush - Clara Brown – born in slavery whose family was sold, eventually bought her freedom to search for her children - Abigail Scott Duniway – a pioneer of the Oregon trail who became a news editor and early suffragette - Maria Ruiz de Burton – writer of social satire on issues of Mexican-US land disputes - Luzena Stanley Wilson – traveled from Missouri to California during the Gold Rush with her husband and two small children - Mother Jones – social activist and agitator for coal mining safety and against child labor - Gertrude Simmons (Zitkala-Ša) – musician and writer on Native American issues - Mary Hallock Foote – author and illustrator (and part of the Angle of Repose controversy) - Martha Hughes Cannon – frontier doctor, polygamist wife, and first female state senator - Donaldina Cameron – crusader against sex trafficking in Chinatown in San Francisco - Charley Parkhurst – stagecoach driver, farmer, and rancher, living as a man - Makaopiopio – Hawaiian immigrant to Utah Each woman could be (and some have been) the subject of an entire book. Monson inserts her observations about their lives in a somewhat didactic fashion, which may appeal to younger readers, but I found unnecessary. It whets the appetite to learn more about these women and this time period. 3.5

  6. 5 out of 5

    Please Pass the Books

    As I happen to be in the midst of a frontier book and movie binge-marathon, I wanted so badly to love this book…and I really tried to. I learned a lot about women I'd never heard of, but it took a ridiculous amount of effort to push through the pages of this well-intended manuscript. I'm not sure Clara Brown herself could have gotten through the whole thing, even if she'd been able to read (you'll learn about her if you pick up a copy). I have two beefs with Frontier Grit… 1. It's poorly written a As I happen to be in the midst of a frontier book and movie binge-marathon, I wanted so badly to love this book…and I really tried to. I learned a lot about women I'd never heard of, but it took a ridiculous amount of effort to push through the pages of this well-intended manuscript. I'm not sure Clara Brown herself could have gotten through the whole thing, even if she'd been able to read (you'll learn about her if you pick up a copy). I have two beefs with Frontier Grit… 1. It's poorly written and reads like an 8th grade history project. Clearly the author did a lot of research in compiling information (as evidenced by the references and bibliography at the end of each chapter), but the execution of the writing itself is mediocre at best. 2. You either present an unbiased representation, or you don't. Here, the author appears to make her best effort with the former, but then closes each chapter with her own opinion, dumbing down for her readers why it should be their opinion too. And when I say "dumbing down", I mean taking something already written at a middle school level, and then patronizing readers further by talking to them like they're actually second graders. The book is worthy of three stars based on research alone, and perhaps half a star for execution…on the grounds that I'm passing it off to my thirteen-year old daughter, who might get more out of it than me (me, being an adult who likes to read books written to a higher standard). I'd like to thank NetGalley and the publisher, Shadow Mountain Publishing, who furnished an ARC of this book for my honest opinion, which this certainly is.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mary Bronson

    I thought this was a great book. I really enjoyed reading it. The book was a quick read. Each of the twelve women mentioned in this book were very fascinating. I liked at the end of each chapter there was a further reading section about different books the ladies were mentioned in. After reading it I now want to do my own research about each of these women to learn more about them and other women like them.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I found this book difficult to rate. The title and the cover drew me in. Pioneer history has always fascinated me. Now with that being said, I didn't enjoy this book. I listened to the audio, which was fine so I can't find fault with that. The book is about twelve pioneer women, and their mark on history. I love that whole concept, but maybe I was expecting more. The author used some very broad, glossy strokes in telling their stories. The material was 'light' and I wanted enlightening. Sadly, t I found this book difficult to rate. The title and the cover drew me in. Pioneer history has always fascinated me. Now with that being said, I didn't enjoy this book. I listened to the audio, which was fine so I can't find fault with that. The book is about twelve pioneer women, and their mark on history. I love that whole concept, but maybe I was expecting more. The author used some very broad, glossy strokes in telling their stories. The material was 'light' and I wanted enlightening. Sadly, this was just two stars for me.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Leeanna

    This review originally appeared on my blog, Leeanna.me. == FRONTIER GRIT tells the unlikely but true stories of twelve women on the frontier. The author defines the frontier as “a place where your people have not gone before (p. vii),” and to me, that seems accurate. Also, by broadly defining “frontier,” the author isn’t limited to the American frontier. The women included in FRONTIER GRIT are absolutely incredible, and I think it’s a real pity I’d never heard of any of them before. That’s whitewa This review originally appeared on my blog, Leeanna.me. == FRONTIER GRIT tells the unlikely but true stories of twelve women on the frontier. The author defines the frontier as “a place where your people have not gone before (p. vii),” and to me, that seems accurate. Also, by broadly defining “frontier,” the author isn’t limited to the American frontier. The women included in FRONTIER GRIT are absolutely incredible, and I think it’s a real pity I’d never heard of any of them before. That’s whitewashed, male history for you. I liked that the author included women of different nationalities and backgrounds in this book. There’s a Mexican-American author, a freed slave, a Native-American activist, and so on. The chapters in FRONTIER GRIT are informative, each giving a biography of the woman and what they did. Sources are included at the end of each chapter. I’d recommend this book if you want to learn a lot about some truly inspiring women. The one thing I didn’t like about FRONTIER GRIT was the author trying to give me a takeaway lesson about each woman. At the end of each chapter, Monson tells the reader what she thinks is important about each woman’s life. I found the author’s intrusion jarring and out of place. It just didn’t fit into the idea of the book for me. == Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. See more of my reviews:

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I tried listening to this audiobook, and the narrator was fantastic. However, this feels like it's written for children- everything brushes the surface, all of these women are just great and everything they did was hunky dory and aren't they impressive?? A very juvenile approach. As other reviewers have said, the authors thoughts on the woman and her grit at the end of the chapter was clunky and forced.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    **I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions here are my own, as usual.** When I saw this title I had a vague expecation of the book being about women toting guns. While I'm all for women knowing how to handle all kinds of tools, I didn't know if I would become invested in any of these stories. I don't mind finding out I was wrong. In this case I was delighted to be wrong. Each chapter in this book gives a brief, but very well researched glimpse into the life **I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions here are my own, as usual.** When I saw this title I had a vague expecation of the book being about women toting guns. While I'm all for women knowing how to handle all kinds of tools, I didn't know if I would become invested in any of these stories. I don't mind finding out I was wrong. In this case I was delighted to be wrong. Each chapter in this book gives a brief, but very well researched glimpse into the life of a woman living her life on the frontier. These women and their backgrounds, races, religion, nationalities, opinions, and lifestyles are all different. Their only similarity is how each took hold of her life and circumstances and chose to create a life she loved. Each one was entertaining, inspiring and something to be proud of. After a fascinating delve into the subjects life, the author gave her perspective on the life and what she learned from her research. At first I was against the research portion of each chapter and relieved by the personal reflections. The first part felt cold and textbookish, while the second part made me feel *why* the author cared to tell the story. It wasn't a retelling, it was a personal relationship and story she wanted to share with me. That was it. With that one personal insight I was hooked for the remainder of the stories. Here are a few of my favorite excerpts: Aunt Clara Brown, "a former slave who became a community leader" - "Clara used anguish and pain from oppression to fuel some of her life's greatest accomplishments, channeling hurt into acts of love rather than acts of violence...her story says that no dream is ever too late, no hope ever truly impossible." Maria Amparo Ruis de Burton,"the first Mexican-American author to write in English"- "We are reminded that we can listen with empathy and compassion to those who suffer injustice. We can also use our power, where we have it, to alleviate suffering in all its forms." I could have included several from each story, each more compelling in a different way than the last. I plan to introduce my own daughters and my son to these stories. I want them to know more people who stood up for what was right and good when others would not or could not. More books like this need to be written, published, read and shared.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is a remarkable book of biographies of women who made huge contributions to this country whether it be on a grand scale or a small scale- either way, they made a difference. Some of their stories broke my heart and some of their stories had me in awe of the woman's courage and strength. The most shocking account was that of the child sex slavery that took place in China Town in San Francisco during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I had no idea that this had occurred and I was so SO ve This is a remarkable book of biographies of women who made huge contributions to this country whether it be on a grand scale or a small scale- either way, they made a difference. Some of their stories broke my heart and some of their stories had me in awe of the woman's courage and strength. The most shocking account was that of the child sex slavery that took place in China Town in San Francisco during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I had no idea that this had occurred and I was so SO very proud of the woman who worked hard to rescue so many of those young girls against such dangerous circumstances. The story of the ex-slave who spent her entire life searching for her daughter who had been sold off to another slave owner had me in tears but also marveled at her faith and perseverance. This ex-slave became very wealthy and well known but non of that mattered-- she used her wealth to find her daughter and reunite other former slaves with lost family members. The introductory essay in this book is quite powerful as are the author's opinion pieces at the end of each essay.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Fran

    Westward expansion in the 19th century was meant to create liberty and freedom for those with frontier grit. Often historical accounts cite the courage and resolve of men such as Daniel Boone. Frontier Grit contains the stories of twelve women determined to make a difference. Nellie Cashman was a gold rush "boomer". She was the first woman prospector in Alaska. She worked alongside prostitutes and patrons to help build Tombstone Arizona's first school and hospital. Abigail Scott Duniway traveled Westward expansion in the 19th century was meant to create liberty and freedom for those with frontier grit. Often historical accounts cite the courage and resolve of men such as Daniel Boone. Frontier Grit contains the stories of twelve women determined to make a difference. Nellie Cashman was a gold rush "boomer". She was the first woman prospector in Alaska. She worked alongside prostitutes and patrons to help build Tombstone Arizona's first school and hospital. Abigail Scott Duniway traveled the Oregon Trail. In Oregon she started a State Equal Suffrage Association. She was appalled that women incurred their husband's debts but were prohibited from owning property or managing their finances. Donaldina Cameron rescued Chinese girls from the sex trafficking trade in San Francisco. She was determined to save girls treated as human cargo and illegally smuggled into the U.S. She provided love, stability and safe haven for the girls who called her Lo Mo, Chinese for "old mama". These pioneer women fought an uphill battle as crusaders to push the boundaries and change the landscape of the rights of women. Marianne Monson has written a book meant to inspire women to persevere and reach for the stars. Women can do amazing things! Each story comes complete with suggestions for further reading. An excellent book. Thank you Net Galley for a digital copy of this book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    This book was a solid 4 stars for the most part — the author did a great job with racial diversity, which I appreciated, and the lives of the women she picked were interesting. I wrote down several of them for further reading. However, I had to drop a star for the way she approached Charley Parker’s story. Had the author merely stuck to the facts, it would have been a great story. However, instead, she blithely put her own label on Charley’s gender (and sexuality, making a few throwaway comments This book was a solid 4 stars for the most part — the author did a great job with racial diversity, which I appreciated, and the lives of the women she picked were interesting. I wrote down several of them for further reading. However, I had to drop a star for the way she approached Charley Parker’s story. Had the author merely stuck to the facts, it would have been a great story. However, instead, she blithely put her own label on Charley’s gender (and sexuality, making a few throwaway comments that were borderline offensive) even though she specifically stated that there’s no evidence clarifying Charley’s feelings on the subject. And while her wrap-up segments for each chapter ranged from thought-provoking to embarrassingly saccharine, Charley’s was, in my opinion, the worst of the bunch. Listened on audiobook, and though the narrator took a few minutes for me to get used to, I wound up loving her.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gill

    'Frontier Grit' by Marianne Monson 2 stars I was attracted to this book by its title, and the cover photograph. The book has individual chapters, each of which describes the life of one of the twelve women that the author has identified as a 'frontier woman'.The author gives references at the end of each chapter. None of the women was known to me previously, and I found these sections quite interesting. At the end of each chapter, the author used the biography of the individual concerned to draw mor 'Frontier Grit' by Marianne Monson 2 stars I was attracted to this book by its title, and the cover photograph. The book has individual chapters, each of which describes the life of one of the twelve women that the author has identified as a 'frontier woman'.The author gives references at the end of each chapter. None of the women was known to me previously, and I found these sections quite interesting. At the end of each chapter, the author used the biography of the individual concerned to draw more general conclusions about 'grit' and to add homilies about life. I thought these sections were unsuccessful and irrelevant. I think there is great potential with this subject matter, but I would have preferred the book to concentrate on fewer individuals and go into more detail on each. Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing and to NetGalley for an ARC.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Coni

    This book consists of twelve chapters. Each chapter profiles a U.S. woman from the 1800's. While I find the premise wonderful and fascinating, I had two major areas of dissatisfaction with this book: 1. While I understand that this format requires difficult decisions regarding how much and where to include details, I found myself in many places wanting much more detail where none was provided, and in other places where detail was provided I found those details superfluous. 2. At the end of each cha This book consists of twelve chapters. Each chapter profiles a U.S. woman from the 1800's. While I find the premise wonderful and fascinating, I had two major areas of dissatisfaction with this book: 1. While I understand that this format requires difficult decisions regarding how much and where to include details, I found myself in many places wanting much more detail where none was provided, and in other places where detail was provided I found those details superfluous. 2. At the end of each chapter, the author tells us what we, the reader, are to learn or take away from the life of the woman that has just been profiled. I found this to be extremely heavy handed, and would have preferred the author to trust the reader to draw his or her own conclusions, and to trust herself to have written the profile in such a way as to have provided those lessons implicitly.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne Marie

    I loved to read the various biographies about these brave and courageous women. The book made me feel as if I was back with these women. This book was a win from the Goodreads First Reads Program.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆

    Fascinating women. I just which there were many, many more stories. I did like that I knew none of them, though, so it was all fresh. Go women!

  19. 5 out of 5

    T.Kay Browning

    This one caught me completely off guard. I was prepared for a pretty fluffy patriotic book when I picked this as the most popular currently available book in my library's digital collection, almost certainly because I'm sexist, but these stories were so good. SO good. I wanted more than half of them to be full length books, for sure. The non-European women stories were not afterthoughts but the focal points that set the more predictable stories of the European women into deeper context. A people This one caught me completely off guard. I was prepared for a pretty fluffy patriotic book when I picked this as the most popular currently available book in my library's digital collection, almost certainly because I'm sexist, but these stories were so good. SO good. I wanted more than half of them to be full length books, for sure. The non-European women stories were not afterthoughts but the focal points that set the more predictable stories of the European women into deeper context. A people's history of pioneer women for sure. And two of them were of Mormon women whose stories I had never heard in all my years of Mormon history. I could of sworn this was by a non-Mormon historian, because of how objective and forthright she was, but the last name should have clued me in, I guess. Give it a read if you get the chance, not many non-fiction books, especially a book of vignettes, make me tear up, but this one did for sure.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    This was one of those books that came in to my life at the perfect moment. This book is about women who went West, but it's also about women who overcame terrible struggles, who fought hard for what they believed in, and suffered more than I could imagibe. The strength and faith of these women was inspiring to me. I did not always agree with the writer, who put her own thoughts at the end of each chapter, or the women themselves, but I admired their grit. The two women I will take with me long p This was one of those books that came in to my life at the perfect moment. This book is about women who went West, but it's also about women who overcame terrible struggles, who fought hard for what they believed in, and suffered more than I could imagibe. The strength and faith of these women was inspiring to me. I did not always agree with the writer, who put her own thoughts at the end of each chapter, or the women themselves, but I admired their grit. The two women I will take with me long past the end of this book are Clara and Donaldina. These women's lives put my own struggles into perspective. I loved this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Connie D

    This is an unusual collection of historical biographies, women who drove stagecoaches, rescued Chinese girls from the slave trade, thrived in gold mining towns, worked for voting rights, raised families. Some are more interesting than others, but each is amazing in their own way. I think the author could expand a couple of these into some fascinating books.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Patti Pfister

    Twelve short short bios of women who had some connection to the West. Some of the stories were interesting and others not. It's a book you can pickup and put down without guilt. There didn't appear to be a connection among the stories other then they were all about women at some point in the 19th century.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Natasha the Bilbliophile

    Some very cool bad ass ladies in history. loved it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    Coming from pioneer stock myself made this book all the more interesting. Great stories of some tough women.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    It was interesting as a whole but some of the stories weren't necessarily about frontier women but pioneering women. I listened to this one. not bad but not a favorite.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    This book told the stories of 12 amazing women in the American West. Their stories were incredible. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to the stories it told. The storytelling was poor, trying to pack in too many details in too few pages, which often seemed to turn these frontier women into caricatures of themselves. The tone of the writing was juvenile and included a line that newspapers were the social media of the day. That made me wonder if the book is meant for a young audience. The boo This book told the stories of 12 amazing women in the American West. Their stories were incredible. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to the stories it told. The storytelling was poor, trying to pack in too many details in too few pages, which often seemed to turn these frontier women into caricatures of themselves. The tone of the writing was juvenile and included a line that newspapers were the social media of the day. That made me wonder if the book is meant for a young audience. The book would have benefited from more detailed storytelling. Instead of glossing over every event in a woman's life, concentrate on fewer in more detail so they'd be more impactful. Each chapter also ended with a moralizing section instructing the reader what to learn from each woman. I would've preferred that the reader choose what to take from the book instead of being instructed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nann

    Monson writes about twelve women who lived in the 19th-century American west. They had diverse backgrounds (some born in the Eastern U.S., others born in New Zealand, Hawaii, Ireland). Some of them were quite well-known -- labor reformer Mother Jones, suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway, artist Mary Hallock Foote -- but others were new (at least to me) -- Martha Hughes Cannon, a physician and the first woman state senator; Donaldina Cameron, who rescued girls from Chinatown sex trafficking; Charley Monson writes about twelve women who lived in the 19th-century American west. They had diverse backgrounds (some born in the Eastern U.S., others born in New Zealand, Hawaii, Ireland). Some of them were quite well-known -- labor reformer Mother Jones, suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway, artist Mary Hallock Foote -- but others were new (at least to me) -- Martha Hughes Cannon, a physician and the first woman state senator; Donaldina Cameron, who rescued girls from Chinatown sex trafficking; Charley Parkhurst, stagecoach driver. At the end of each chapter Monson summarizes the woman's life and service. That is a helpful opening to further discussion. This is a very good addition to women's and Western history for YAs as well as adults.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katharine

    2 1/2... maybe 3 stars??? Ugh I was soo looking forward to this book and I can’t quite put my finger on how to sum up why it didn’t live up to my excitement. It was informative... like a research paper. Maybe a high school research paper. Just enough information to make you curious for more in depth stories about these women. It was supposed to be non biased, but... a quick google search of one of the women I was not familiar with, but was interested to know more because I felt the book just glos 2 1/2... maybe 3 stars??? Ugh I was soo looking forward to this book and I can’t quite put my finger on how to sum up why it didn’t live up to my excitement. It was informative... like a research paper. Maybe a high school research paper. Just enough information to make you curious for more in depth stories about these women. It was supposed to be non biased, but... a quick google search of one of the women I was not familiar with, but was interested to know more because I felt the book just glossed over some aspects of her life, proved otherwise. On google alone there were numerous articles with conflicting information and or opinions that vastly differed from how she was presented in the book...

  29. 5 out of 5

    The Library Lady

    Good scholarship is important, but it also takes good prose to make a "good read." And that's missing here. As a kid, long ago, I read many collected biographies like this. But those books, written for children, were produced by much better storytellers. Monson takes interesting material and makes it into something more like a term paper than good biography. Her introduction shows her enthusiasm for her work, sadly her writing does not. P.S. I took an extra star off for her being one of those auth Good scholarship is important, but it also takes good prose to make a "good read." And that's missing here. As a kid, long ago, I read many collected biographies like this. But those books, written for children, were produced by much better storytellers. Monson takes interesting material and makes it into something more like a term paper than good biography. Her introduction shows her enthusiasm for her work, sadly her writing does not. P.S. I took an extra star off for her being one of those authors who rates her own work with 5 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    This is possibly the best book I've read this year. I loved every story of these incredible women. The author states her purpose in the beginning (to tell stories of women in the West, and not just white women). I knew it would be varied on purpose but that almost seemed to add to how much I enjoyed listening to their voices and stories. I learned so much about them and myself. And my views have changed on at least one thing in history.

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