Tonawanda News

Features

April 1, 2013

BOOK NOOK: Go West, young woman!

(Continued)

And yet, there were advantages to being a woman on the frontier.

Women were allowed to own land long before they were allowed to vote. Since feminine company was scarce, women often had their choice of men and divorce was easily attainable. Women owned businesses, wore pants, escaped slavery and found work. They could make a lot of money — or they could lose everything.

Edge of my seat. That’s where I was while reading “Women of the Frontier.”

Author Miller packs this book with excitement, heartbreak and adventure as well as blunt truth and painful realities, and she’s very adept at making the narrative personal. What I mean is that it’s hard to read what’s here without imagining yourself in the pitiful shoes of our foremothers. Could you withstand losing your family, pets and precious possessions, bit by bit? How would you start over with nothing? Those are sobering scenarios, and definite food for thought.

While this book is meant for readers ages 12 and up, I absolutely think adults of any age will enjoy it, too. Historians, feminists, adventure-lovers and whiners will surely find “Women of the Frontier” to be very moving.

Terri Schlichenmeyer reviews books from her home in LaCrosse, Wis. Contact her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

•••

• WHAT: "Women of the Frontier"

• BY: Brandon Marie Miller

• GRADE: A

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