Monday, May 11, 2020

Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 368
Format: book 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  As a young girl traveling to Utah by wagon in 1861, Martha, or Mattie as she was called, was deeply influenced by the early struggles her family endured as frontier pioneers, including the premature deaths of her baby sister and father. From those early experiences, she found her calling. Alleviating physical suffering and healing became her goals, and Mattie worked with astounding dedication and resolve to achieve those goals. She began teaching school at age fourteen and worked as a typesetter for the influential Women’s Exponent newspaper to pay for college where she graduated with a degree in chemistry.
 
In 1880, Mattie stepped into the lecture hall of the University of Michigan medical school, the only woman in the class and one of a handful of women to attend the school in its history. The room erupted at her entrance—laughter, scoffing, voices calling out, and more than one person muttering about the “hen medic.” Many male professors, thinking it indelicate, refused to discuss anatomy if women students were in the room, and they were often forced to observe from an annex area outside the regular classroom.  
 
Resolved and single-minded, Mattie graduated from medical school at the age twenty-three, the only female in her class. As a doctor, she returned to frontier Utah, set up a medical practice, and established classes for midwives where she lectured on obstetrics. As a suffragette, she was outspoken at the Columbia Exposition of Chicago, where she delivered a rousing speech on behalf of women’s rights. She married in secrecy at age twenty-seen, and later lived in exile for two years because her husband practiced plural marriage, which was illegal, and she didn’t want to testify against him.
 
She returned to Utah in 1888 and took an active part in politics and women’s suffrage. She ran for office as a Democrat against the Republican candidate, who was her husband and won, becoming the first woman ever elected as a state senator in the US.


Kritters Thoughts:  An intense look at one woman who had quite a grand life.  Martha Hughes Cannon had quite a vast life.  From breaking ground in medical school as one of a handful of women pursuing a doctorate degree to being the first female elected to state senator position in Utah, she had quite the life and I enjoyed reading a detailed focus on her life.  

Martha or Mattie as she was called had a life and there were so many moments where I kept looking up to confirm that this fictional novel was based in truth.  I appreciate books that walk the line and the reader can't figure out what is fact and fiction.  I love when fact seems so crazy that it could be fiction and it isn't!  

It feels weird to talk about Martha as a character because she was someone in real life.  I appreciated getting to know someone who is far different from who I am and in a time that is different from what I live in.  I liked seeing her interact or be in the presence of other historical characters that I have read and seen in other books, it helped place her in this time and place.  

I also enjoyed reading about the people that surrounded Mattie.  I think the author did a great job of allowing the reader to get to know Mattie's friends, family and co workers to even get a more round view of her and her world.  

After reading this book, it made me want to search more of these out.  I would love to read more books that are focused looks at people in history that probably haven't been highlighted in typical fashion.  Have you read any books like this that you would recommend? 


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

 Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Shadow Mountain.  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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