Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scribbling Women by Marthe Jocelyn

Title: Scribbling Women
Author: Marthe Jocelyn
Year of Publication: 2011
Genre: Nonfiction
Pages: 173

First Line: "I like to write outside, at a table on my front porch, or even in the hammock."

Summary: Whatever else you may discover within these pages, you will not meet up with a single "shrinking violet" among the eleven featured women.  Long dead or still living, each one defied something that would have held others back: societal convention, adversity, ignorance, oppression, poverty, the law, the elements, the odds.  All of them disregarded the expectations of the day and led exceptional, if not long and happy lives.  Perhaps more remarkable than their experiences is the fact that -- whether adrift on Arctic ice, in the company of cannibals, behind prison bars, stolen from home, or caught in deadly crossfire -- they recorded what they did, how they felt, and who they were.  In doing so, they left vivid snapshots of themselves and their times.

Source: Back of book.

Review:  When I began reading this book, I was surprised at the style.  It was similar to my own and, while it is a simpler style, it fit the audience the author was trying to reach (young adult).  The array of "women scribblers" is impressive and I was also taken by the fact that I had not heard of one of them.  Some of the stories, of course, interested me more than others.  I was particularly interested in the story of journalist Nellie Bly.  The book was a relatively quick read and you're likely to find at least one writer within with whom you connect.  Worth the time it took to read, though you may find yourself skimming the entries you're less interested in.

Worst part: I think the in-text citations could have been done better.  It wasn't always clear when the information was from something the woman had written and when it was from another source.

Best part:  I really enjoyed reading about Nellie Bly and about Isabella Beeton.

Grade: B

Other Books by This Author: Same Same, Time Is When, Eats, How It Happened in Peach Hill, Over Under, Mable Riley and many more.

Author's Website: Marthe Jocelyn

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