Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Letters of Woman Homesteader

Reading this book kind of made me feel like I should not put myself and homesteading in the same sentence. I don't mean to say it lessened my confidence in what I'm doing, but rather gave me a detailed look into how hardcore homesteading was in the early 1900s of Wyoming.

This is a collection of well written letters by Elinore Pruitt Stewart written to a good friend about her adventures in homesteading after accepting employment as housekeeper for a cattleman. Later, she acquires her own land. These are all letters that were genuinely written by Elinore (and her young daughter occasionally), with little to no editing of them.

Her letters focus primarily on relationships, social and familial, and the chaotic predicaments she gets into, young children in tow. From sleeping under her wagon in the snow (and no provisions), to helping birth babies, to redecorating her log cabin, her real life stories give a strong and humorous voice to how women lived in this incredible era of building western America.

It's worth reading for little nuggets of homesteading how-to's- her details are such that she often apologizes to her friend for such length and specification of every moment….This really was a great book to read, I only wish there were more like it out there!