About the Book
All She Left Behind
by Jane Kirkpatrick
Description from Goodreads:
Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s doesn't approve of such innovations as women attending medical school. To leave grief and guilt behind, as well as support herself and her challenging young son, Jennie cares for an elderly woman using skills she's developed on her own. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman's widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal--but the road will be winding and the way forward will not always be clear. Will Jennie find shelter in life's storms? Will she discover where healing truly lives?
Through her award-winning, layered storytelling, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick invites readers to leave behind their preconceived notions about love and life as they, along with Jennie, discover that dreams may be deferred--but they never really die. Based on a true story.
The novel follows the life of Jennie. It reads like a fiction story, with fictionalized conversations joining the recorded historical events. At first, it isn’t terribly clear where the story is going because it simply follows the Jennie’s life, starting from her wedding as a young woman. But by the end, the story showed that she was a woman worth remembering as a feminist, a woman doctor, and a loving wife and mother who overcame much to do what she did. It had a lot of feminist themes and contrasted the difficulties of women during the time to the joys of family and a marriage of equals.
I enjoyed this story and learned a lot about how women were treated during the time period. I cheer Jennie on for what she accomplished and am eternally grateful for the freedoms I enjoy as a woman in the United States. I appreciate that the author wrote about the real struggles Jennie went through, both from the sexists against her and in daily and family life. She wasn’t any more perfect than the men around her, and I am glad that was represented.
I recommend this book to those who are interested in learning about women feminists in history in a relatable way (as historical fiction).
I received a complementary copy of this book. All opinions are my own, and I was not obligated to give a positive review.