Cover Image: Brave Hearted

Brave Hearted

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The American 'Wild West' is usually told from the viewpoint of the cowboys, miners, prospectors, gunfighters, soldiers, etc, but what about the women who sometimes went with them or even migrated west on their own? What about their stories & the unique challenges they would face? This book examines the experiences of some of those women, often in their own words from surviving diaries & letters. From the women who gave up everything to accompany their husbands on the long journey which took months through harsh & unforgiving territory, the former slaves who moved to Free states, to the Native American women whose lives were changed beyond all recognition by the mass migration which accompanied the land grab & gold rush. 

This is an absolutely captivating book. There's so much information here but it's written in such a way that it rarely becomes academically dry to read. The author steers away from the more well-known personalities such as Calamity Jane (who is briefly mentioned but just the once) & concentrates on the everyday life of ordinary women.  When I say 'ordinary, I don't mean any disrespect, these women gave birth along the trails, they worked to keep their families together after their husbands died or left., they opened businesses & many thrived in a overwhelming male environment. The author has obviously done a great deal of careful research on a subject they care about & it shows. I have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone interested in the history of the 'Wild West'. 

My thanks to NetGalley & publishers, Little, Brown Book Group UK/Virago, for the opportunity to read an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
This book gives a real insight into the trials and discomfort faced by the women who traveled the frontier in early America, the hardships they encountered but on the way and when they arrived at their destination. Well written and I enjoyed the quotes from their life stories.
Was this review helpful?
I grew up watching "Calamity Jane" and have always been fascinated by "The Wild West"... Poor Calam only gets one tiny piece of this book though, and it's probably not what you'd expect if you've only seen the Doris Day movie! Katie Hickman has delivered an incredible insight into the lives of "ordinary" women, their journeys into the unknown, and what they found when they got there. Prior to reading this book, I had no clue that the personal accounts related in "Brave Hearted" existed... I am very happy, very grateful, and amazed at the courage shown by these women. 

My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.
Was this review helpful?