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.
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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
*Something Worth Doing by Jane Kirkpatrick is a 2020 Revell publication.
It is not the certainty that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something is worth doing regardless of how it turns out.
This is a fascinating fictional account of the life of Abigail Scott Duniway, a journalist and prolific author and early suffragist who worked tirelessly to help women in Oregon gain the right to vote.
I am so glad the author chose Abigail as her subject. I think it’s important not only to remember these important figures in history, but to also educate younger generations who may have little knowledge of the hardships women endured and how difficult their battles for equality were in a time when women simply melted into the background, to become mere extensions of their husbands. Women were to be ‘protected’ from any talk of business or politics, and wives had little, if any, input in the family decision making.
Abigail was known in nonfictional accountings as being ‘strident’ at times. She didn’t agree with some proposed legislations that bound suffragist to prohibition, and she struggled in her approach, at times, which cost her dearly, and slowed down the progression of the movement.
But this story allows the reader to contemplate a softer side of Abigail and gives us insight into the situations that prompted her to become a fierce crusader for the women’s right to vote.
It’s easy to take for granted the many rights and privileges we have today, especially for younger women who never knew a different environment.
While there are still many, many, many hurdles still in our way, I hope we can take inspiration from Abigail. She was a woman who experienced many hardships and trials, much loss, and heartbreak, but even in her moments of doubt, when her spirit was broken and she felt defeated, she never lost her faith, and despite huge setbacks, she continued to fight the good fight until Oregon women finally won the right the vote.
In every generation we need these strong willed, focused, and dedicated figures to guide us through the tunnels of darkness, letting their bright lights illuminate the way so that others will not suffer the same adversity, so that future generations will have the richer and fuller lives they deserve!
The best way to honor these trailblazers is to register to vote and make your voice heard!!