Monday, February 27, 2017

Frontier Grit

Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women
by Marianne Monson
Shadow Mountain, 2016. 198 pgs. Biography

Frontier Grit gives readers brief biographical sketches of twelve amazing women of the American frontier.  Author Marianne Monson, inspired by stories of strong pioneering women in her own family histories, desired to tell the story of the American West from the eyes of women who struggled to make a home for themselves.

While I enjoyed all twelve sketches, I particularly enjoyed the colorful life of Nellie Cashman who mushed a dog sled 750 miles in seventeen days when she was in her 80s! Or, closer to home, there is Martha Hughes Cannon who served as the first female State Senator in the United States after a sensational campaign in which she defeated her own husband who was also on the ballot.

I loved the variety in Monson’s subjects.  She does an amazing job of showing diversity among the brave souls who ventured into the unknown.  At the conclusion of each biography, Monson editorialized a bit, pointing out how the struggles faced by these women are not so different from the struggles faced by women today.   I would particularly recommend it to book clubs because it is such a quick, easy read containing so many wonderful topics for discussion.


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