Thursday, April 7, 2016

Terrible Virtue
by Ellen Feldman

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The provocative and compelling story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today.

The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she fought for social justice beside labor organizers, anarchists, socialists, and other progressives, eventually channeling her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception. It was a battle that would pit her against puritanical, patriarchal lawmakers, send her to prison again and again, force her to flee to England, and ultimately change the lives of women across the country and around the world.

This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. From opening the first illegal birth control clinic in America in 1916 through the founding of Planned Parenthood to the arrival of the Pill in the 1960s, Margaret Sanger sacrificed two husbands, three children, and scores of lovers in her fight for sexual equality and freedom.



Kritters Thoughts:  A fictional tale of the life of the founder of Planned Parenthood and how she became an activist for women's rights in particular with their health.  Margaret Sanger's childhood played a big role on who she became and what she was passionate about, as a child she watched her mother barely keep it together with 11 children and even more miscarriages that wrecked havoc on her body.  She watched as her mother wilted away under the burden of family and Margaret thought there has to be a better way to both satisfy the "husband's needs" and have the amount of children that one would desire.  The other big thing she noticed was the lack of knowledge that both men and women had about women's healthcare especially in terms of pregnancy.

I love historical fiction books that are deeply rooted in truth.  I love to read a story instead of a textbook and learn something without feeling as though I am truly learning something!  

I also love reading historical fiction to honestly see a difference in the roles of women from then to now.  To get a little personal - I am happily married, but we have chosen to not go down the child path and instead enjoy 3 dogs in our home to make our family complete.  Reading books like these gives me true appreciation for the ability to make the decisions I do and avoid complete social pariah for choosing the life that I do.  Thank goodness my husband is happy that I find joy in my full time job, this blog and our dogs!

This is my first Ellen Feldman book and will definitely not be my last.  I will look out for her next book, but am also going to look into her backlist to find a few things to read!

If you have read this and loved it like I did, go check out My Notorious Life by Kate Manning as her story crosses paths with Margaret Sanger and they came at women's health from the same place.  I read My Notorious Life first for book club and found Terrible Virtue to be a companion, so read one then the other and you will enjoy two perspectives on the lack of women's healthcare and the craziness of men trying to "treat" women in this time period.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel (or another one by this author!)

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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