A Modern Day Fairy Tale

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Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick {Book Review}

**I received a complimentary copy of this book for consideration. All thoughts are my own. 


In 1853, Abigail Scott was a 19-year-old school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more than a good wife and mother. When financial mistakes and an injury force Ben to stop working, Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family. What she sees as a working woman appalls her, and she devotes her life to fighting for the rights of women, including their right to vote.

Following Abigail as she bears six children, runs a millinery and a private school, helps on the farm, writes novels, gives speeches, and eventually runs a newspaper supporting women's suffrage, Something Worth Doing explores issues that will resonate strongly with modern women: the pull between career and family, finding one's place in the public sphere, and dealing with frustrations and prejudices women encounter when they compete in male-dominated spaces. Based on a true story of a pioneer for women's rights from award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick will inspire you to believe that some things are worth doing--even when the cost is great.

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books, including One More River to CrossEverything She Didn't SayAll Together in One PlaceA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, and the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award. Jane divides her time between Central Oregon and California with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.

Something Worth Doing is a fictionalized retelling of the true life story of Abigail Scott Duniway and all that she did in the fight for women's rights. Though I would say I am far from a feminist, I think that perhaps would have been different had I been born in a different time like this when women truly were treated as second class citizens with absolutely no rights to anything on their own. As women living today, it is really difficult to understand what that struggle must be like because we really do have so many freedoms now. The topic really is quite fascinating, and I really wanted to enjoy this story. I have to say though, it's really only been okay for me so far. 

First, let's take a look at what I do like. Jane Kirkpatrick is without a doubt a very talented writer. I think there is something quite difficult about creating a fictionalized story of an actual person or event, and she does it beautifully. I respect the great amount of research that must have gone into creating this story and it certainly does seem to come through. 

I think for me, the issue was that I just didn't connect with Abigail's character as much as I would like. Though I know she was an important figure in history, allowing us as women to enjoy the choices we now have... I just didn't really click with her. As such, it just made it harder to get into the story. That said, it is interesting to see that despite the very different life we are now able to lead, there are many struggles that are still relevant even with women today and as such I think many will appreciate this book. 

Overall, though it may not have been my absolute favorite, it was a good read nonetheless. I think those who enjoy historical fiction and particularly are interested in the suffragist movement will appreciate this much more.


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