Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Book Review: Clarina Nichols by Diane Eickhoff

Title: Clarina Nichols
Date Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Quindaro Press
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source: TLC Book Tours


Everyone knows about the ''Votes for Women'' campaign that led to the 19th Amendment in 1920. Few know just how long the struggle really was. Decades earlier, brave women began breaking the taboo of remaining silent at gatherings that included men. They began signing their names to petitions, flexing political muscle long before they had the vote. They wrote millions of words and published some of the most influential books and journals of their day. No one represents this early struggle -- the small triumphs and discouraging setbacks -- better than Clarina Howard Nichols (1810-1885), the Vermont newspaper publisher whose speeches made a powerful case for equality. 

Nichols, herself the victim of a failed marriage, was a magnet to abused and mistreated women and was their advocate at a time when her sex was just beginning to speak up. And when she felt progress wasn't coming soon enough, she moved west, to Bleeding Kansas, where she would make history and show the world that feminism could thrive on the frontier. 

Diane Eickhoff, who first wrote Nichols' biography in 2006 as Revolutionary Heart, has reimagined her story for all ages. Booklist declared, ''The name Clarina Nichols deserves to be placed next to those of such luminaries as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,'' and readers of this inspiring historical biography will heartily agree.

How sad that I had never heard of Clarina Nichols before reading this book. A true pioneer for womens' rights, Clarina was a newspaper publisher who fought for equality through her speeches.

With this being an election year, and with one of the Presidential candidates being a woman, I found this book especially fascinating. It amazes me that even to this day women struggle and fight for equal rights. And, having not been a huge history fan while I was in school I learned so much while reading this book.

We all know that women have struggled, but to find out that poor widows were auctioned horrible! The author has done a fabulous job of enlightening me of the struggles that Clarina was trying to abolish. And as the mom of two young girls I can't wait to share this book with them to hopefully empower them to continue to fight for their rights, and those of all women.

Diane Eickhoff AP

Diane Eickhoff grew up on a farm in Minnesota, taught school in Appalachia and New York, and helped edit a newspaper for†an anti-poverty program in Alabama. She has written widely for publications aimed at high school and younger readers. Her biography, Revolutionary Heart, from which this book is adapted, was named a Kansas Notable Book and the winner of ForeWord magazineís†Book of the Year competition in biography, among other†honors. She lives with her husband, author Aaron Barnhart, in Kansas City.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I did NOT know about the auctioning of widows ... how horrifying! Clarina's story needs a more well known place in history for sure.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.