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Chapter 13 - Strong Women Lift Each Other Up


I can't let March go by without a blog reflecting on Women's History Month. While in many cases women have been marginalized over the years, many succeeded in either a quiet or vocal way. Women have been at the forefront of many historic happenings and, in many cases, managed affairs while their husbands or fathers were doing other work. The old adage that "The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world." is not far from wrong and these books would attest to that.


Mistress of Riversdale: The Plantation Letters of Rosalie Stier Calvert, 1795-1821 by Margaret Law Callcott - Rosalie Stier was a teenager when her parents fled Belgium during the French Revolution coming to America with very little. She married George Calvert and had nine children while running the Calvert plantation and developing and managing the finances of her parents who had returned to Belgium. This nonfiction account consisting of her letters and diaries makes for interesting reading.


The Indigo Girl by Natasha Boyd - Eliza Lucas was only 16 years old when her father left her in charge of three plantations in South Carolina. As her father pursues his military ambitions draining money from the plantations, Eliza devises a plan to keep the plantations afloat by introducing the farming of indigo, a product only available from French owned Martinique at the time. This interesting novel is based on Eliza's correspondence and diaries. You can also read her letters here - The Letterbook of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, 1739-1762.


The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd - The Grimke' sisters (Sarah and Angelique) from Charleston were fervent abolitionists in the 1830's and moved from their home to Philadelphia to pursue their passions of freedom for all. This novelized account inspired by their lives is a tribute to their persistence in their goals. Sarah Grimke' is often considered the mother of the American suffrage movement.


Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict - The story of Clementine and Winston Churchill, this novel focuses primarily on Clementine and her support and influence on her husband. After a difficult childhood, Clementine married Winston, 11 years older, in 1908 and began an incredible life in support of her husband often championing liberal causes. Historically accurate, the reader is able to learn about this amazing woman.


Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris - Inspired by a true story, Morris, the author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, tells about Cilka young Polish girl. Deported at age 16 to the Nazi labor camp, Cilka was a survivor. Used as a comfort woman by the commandant of the camp and denounced as a collaborator, Cilka was sent to Siberia at the end of the war for her crimes. Her story is one of strength and fortitude.


I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousef - If you haven't read this memoir, you should. Raised in Pakistan and encouraged by her schoolteacher father to pursue education, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Malala's story is unforgettable.


Do you have any books about strong women you'd like to share?