Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Heart of the Trail

Heart of The Trail: The Stories of Eight Wagon Train Women —by Mary Barmeyer O'Brien

History / Women's Studies
81 pages
3 Stars

Being a short book, I knew none of the stories would be in depth; however, because they were about women I knew nothing about, they were mildly interesting. The writing is good, the subject matter terrific, but due to the shortness of the stories, not overly informative; more gravy, less meat.

I think this would be a good introduction to anyone not at all familiar with this part of our history, and would hopefully pique their interest to go on and read more in depth accounts, including the actual diaries of the women.

There was nothing here about how they coped with emergencies, or daily lives on a personal level, except as a high level gloss. Personal things, such as how they dealt with babies and diapers would probably not have been mentioned in their actual diaries and or letters home. That would have been considered women's work, and of no importance to record, as all the women would have known. And the men wouldn't have cared what they thought, let alone read the diaries.

I really wish the author had written longer stories with more usable information, given the women 50-60 pages each, and used more quotes from their diaries and letters. Unfortunately, the lack of information in this book make me hesitate to buy any of her other books, though I see she has several out about the same era and subject.

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