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Something Worth Doing

de Jane Kirkpatrick

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5326414,113 (4.13)7
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.… (més)
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I was provided a copy of the book by Revell via Lone Star Book Blog Tours. All opinions are my own.

SOMETHING WORTH DOING is a well-researched, detailed fictionalized account of the life of early suffragist Abigail Scott Duniway. While she was an important part of the suffragist movement and someone who worked along side of Susan B Anthony, hers is not a name I’d heard before, so I was grateful for this introduction.

Jane Kirkpatrick’s detailed research is evident in the story, which follows the life of Abigail “Jenny” Scott Duniway’s life. It was as incredibly hard one, peppered with losses and rebounds, difficult pregnancies, and impressive personal successes. She owned her own millinery business, ran her own newspaper, traveled widely unescorted speaking on behave of the suffrage movement. If her father hadn’t pushed for marriage, I do wonder if she ever would have married, she was such an independent and strong-willed woman.

“But Papa married who he wanted. Men get better choices not because they’re wiser – but because they are men…and because they make the rules. Why is that?”

Something Worth Doing also does an excellent job of putting us in that period of time, and illustrating the difficulties women faced. Among these were complications with owning property, maintaining child custody in a divorce, marriage decisions, and really, making any decisions on their own. It was easy to see how at the time a very fine line separated women from chattel, and how all of it drove Abigail’s efforts. It also does an excellent job showing just how long and arduous a path it was to accomplishing their goal.

One aspect of the story that I found both interesting and educational was how the suffrage fight on the West coast different from that of Susan B Anthony and her peers on the East coast. While the East coast marched, protested, and were very vocal, the West coast preferred the “still hunt” . Abigail was adamant that they fight the fight in their own way.

“We Oregonians favor the still hunt, pressing prominent legislative men to bring the vote to the people, without flamboyance or efforts that might suggest we’d neglect our duties as wives and mothers.”

I can’t honestly say I always liked Abigail. But in fairness, she is often described as shrill by others, and she herself admits that she can be blunt, and that her sister’s touch is needed to soften her writings.

The book tries to show Abigail’s vulnerabilities – her wish for more support and involvement from her husband Ben (more than once does he make decisions without consulting her), her feelings of disappointment and abandonment as some of her family members move away, etc. However, as the author also doesn’t sugarcoat Scott Duniway’s choices and her justifications, I found it difficult to connect and empathize with her on a personal level. (I felt she made a lot of decisions without consulting her husband, also.)

While I admired the work that she did, I found it difficult to connect with her character, particularly as she grew older.

SOMETHING WORTH DOING is a highly detailed, thoughtful account of the life of Abigail Scott Duniway and the trials she endured. It was a fascinating look into how far we’ve come as women and our rights, and left me grateful for these pioneering suffragists who started us on the long path to women’s rights. ( )
  jenncaffeinated | Jul 4, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Being that I live in Oregon, I found this to be a good read. I always enjoy reading about the history of Oregon and the history of suffragettes. ( )
  chutzpanit | Feb 16, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Abigail is a strong character who has taken up the fight for suffrage. It is not an easy task but one she believe in. The author gives us historical facts that make the story realistic. I loved how Abigail stood up for the rights of women. It’s hard to believe at one time, women weren’t allowed to vote or have jobs that were considered for men only.

Her husband was a big supporter of hers and she raised her children with compassion. I think a Abigail needed to be reminded that her husband loved her and was a big supporter of her. It was hard to fight against the people who thought women should do laundry, wash dishes, cook and tend to children. It’s like she had no voice and she was determined to change things.

I admired her ability to stand up for the rights of women and continue on with the knowledge that she would someday make a difference. I love reading about the pioneer days and the hard work that was involved to survive. The author gives a beautiful description that places readers right there in the story.

I loved everything about the story and appreciate the lesson on standing up for your rights, I never want to take for granted the rights we have and never forget those before us that lead the way to more fair treatment of everyone,

I received a copy of this book from Librarything Early Reader Program. The review is my own opinion, ( )
  Harley0326 | Jan 25, 2021 |
Ressenya escrita per a Crítics Matiners de LibraryThing .
Something Worth Doing, by Jane Kirkpatrick, tells the tale of one of the lesser-known suffragists, Abigail (Scott) Duniway, Oregon’s “Mother of Equal Suffrage” and the “Pioneer Woman Suffragist of the Great Northwest”, who devoted more than four decades of her life to the cause of women’s rights. For the complete review, go to https://kindredconnection.wordpress.com/2020/12/01/something-worth-doing/. ( )
  K_T_C | Dec 1, 2020 |
The author never ceases to amaze me with the fascinating little known women of history she finds to write about. Her talent is extraordinary in how she takes the facts and adds fictional details to weave a story that brings the woman to life. All of her women are not only distinctive but also strong and persevering.
This novel is about Abigail Scott Duniway. A suffragist in the late 1800’s who worked tirelessly to win the right for women to vote. She also was advocate of women’s equality in other areas they faced discrimination during that era.
I certainly found her a feisty one, even to the point at times of being aggravating with her bold opinions and out outspokenness. Those traits during her time were considered stepping over the line and inappropriate for women. Yet I have to admit, with the prejudice that prevailed, a strong approach would be the only way to break through and make progress.
While being this revolutionary woman, she was still filled the gender roles of wife, mother, grandmother and sister. Her duties were not as easily dealt with as we do now. House work and childcare were hard and arduous. While she loved her family she chafed against the restrictions their care put upon her and the work itself. Just like all women she struggled with laundry and housework.
My heart ached for the many tragedies and setbacks her family faced. I admired though how she put aside her disappoint and pain, facing the problems head on. I felt her gentle laid back husband was a perfect match for her. His unending patience, love and sense of humor were rare, especially in that day and time.
At the end of the book (as in all Ms. Kirkpatrick’s books) you can read the historical facts from her research that makes the “bones” of the book. You will find she really does her homework! I always like to do my own exploration on the “Kirkpatrick women”, finding pictures of them and even reading their biographies. Another outstanding book by Jane Kirkpatrick!
I received this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated are my own. ( )
  Mizroady | Sep 25, 2020 |
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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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