Welcome to the Scribbling Women Blog Tour! I am glad that you all stopped by today! You will find my review of the book, a question I had for author, Marthe Jocelyn, about the book and an awesome giveaway opporunity.
First, my review of the book!
I have to say that I was not sure what to make of this book at first. It is about eleven amazing women and how their writing, everything for letters, to cookbooks, to diaries, have had a lasting effect on our culture. The are from all different backgrounds and eras.
Sei Shonagon 965-1010
Known for her work, called in English The Pillow Book, is about her ten years in the Royal court in Japan.
Margaret Catchpole 1762-1819
Was sentenced to be sent to Australia after being convicted of stealing a horse and then escaping prison – she is know for her letter to her prior employer
Mary Hayden Russell 1784-1855
Accounts of whaling around the world
Harriet Ann Jacobs 1813-1897
Wrote a book about her accounts of slavery called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
Isabella Beeton 1836-1865
Wrote a book called Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management
Mary Kingsley 1862-1900
Her accounts of being an explorer and scientist
Nellie Bly 1864-1922
Undercover Reporter – amazingly scary accounts
Daisy Ashford 1881-1972
Author of a few books, started storytelling before she could write
Ada Blackjack 1898-1983
Amazing accounts of Alaskan Wilderness
Dr Darg Thuy Tram 1943-1970
Journaled about life in a remote jungle clinic in a war zone
Doris Pilkington Garimara
Wrote a book called The Rabbit-Proof Fence
Now keep in mind that these are just quick one liners about these women. I was so impressed with this book. Each woman’s story was well written and so interesting! I felt as though Marthe Jocelyn knew these women in real life and was retelling their stories to us. What it really made me want to do was go out and learn more not only about these women and others who have done the same. It got me thinking about what I read and how much more I could learn from books such as this one. My biggest question for Marthe Jocelyn was who was her favorite? Let’s find out what her answer was.
Seems as though everyone wants me to pick a favorite – and I just won’t do it! But I can tell you something that I loved about each woman in the book…
I wonder whether Sei Shonagon had any friends amongst her fellow ladies-in-waiting? She was catty, clever, self-serving and not very nice. But all that makes for entertaining – and poetic – reading. I loved her for her lists.
Margaret Catchpole was doggedly attached to her former employers – from whom she stole the horse that got her sent to Australia. Her urgent need to stay in touch, even while she struggled to survive, is clearly marked on every page she wrote. I loved her for her spelling.
Why did Mary Hayden Russell go to sea? To keep an eye on her whaling captain husband or to see the world? Her attitude was condescending to every culture she encountered, but her descriptions were colorful and revealing – of herself as much as of them. I loved her for noting things even when not really seeing them.
Harriet Jacobs simply had tenacity that defies belief. Her story is a reminder that sometimes it takes courage to hide, and that fighting has many shapes. I loved that book exists.
Isabella Beeton was propelled by determination and accomplished a mind-boggling pile of work before she died at age 28. But mostly I loved her for this dessert recipe:
BOX OF CHOCOLATE
This is served in an ornamental box, placed on a glass plate or dish.
Seasonable: May be purchased at any time.
Mary Kingsley was so witty and brilliant that if she were alive today, she would be a TED talk star, But she knew too much for just one episode and might have to have her own series. I loved her for her spirit.
Nellie Bly was compelled to overcome poverty and to make a name for herself, but her imagination and bravado far outshone the self-promotion. I loved her for being a first in so many arenas.
Daisy Ashford might seem out of place in a collection of daring, accomplished women, but her novella, written at age nine, is an exact sample of passionate and literate scribbling.
Ada Blackjack’s story is perhaps the most moving, captured in short stilted sentences written as ‘field notes’ during her isolation in the far north after her scientist companions had disappeared or died – one lying in the tent next door for several weeks. I loved her for understanding the need to use her Eversharp pencil along with her rifle.
I fell for Dang Thuy Tram when I read the line in her diary; “July comes again to our jungle, with its southern wind bothering the trees…” Coming from a young doctor in a war zone facing daily doses of indescribable horror, that word ‘bothering’ delighted me.
Doris Pilkington-Garimara tells about her mother’s and her own fates as members of Australia’s Stolen Generations, painting moments so vivid the details are still stuck in my head. I love her for sprinkling Mardu words throughout her books, as signs that they are here to stay.
The eleven writers in Scribbling Women were the finalists in Round One of my favorites. I suspect there are enough more to fill several volumes.
Thank you so much for your honest answer!
Now Tundra books is having a HUGE giveaway along with the tour, check out the details HERE.
From the link above about the giveaway:
What do you have to do to enter? Follow the blog tour and leave a comment on any of the participating blogs, but it must be on their “Scribbling Women” blog tour posts
*I was provided a copy of this book for review – all opinions are my own and I was not provided any additional compensation