Letters of a Woman Homesteader is a frontier classic by Elinore Pruitt Stewart, a widowed young mother who accepted an offer to assist with a ranch in Wyoming. In Stewart's delightful collection of letters, she describes her homesteading experiences to her former employer, Mrs. Coney. Stewart's charming descriptions of work, travels, neighbors, animals, land and sky have an authentic feel. The West comes alive, and everyday life becomes captivating. Stewart's writing is clear, witty, and entertaining. Clear as a bell, concise yet comprehensive, replete with localisms and skillfully rendered frontier humor, it makes one want to toss the PC and reference library into the trash and move to some unspoiled wilderness. The 26 letters are brief and tell about her life on the ranch in the early 1900s. The author frequently and unnecessarily apologizes for being too wordy; she begs forgiveness for many "faults," like being forgetful, ungrateful, inconsistent and indifferent, all without apparent cause. On occasion, language reflects the racial prejudice of the time. Many times in Letters of a Woman Homesteader Stewart attempts to portray the culturally diverse characters she meets by writing their various dialects as they sound. Elinore Pruitt Stewart was a remarkable woman. After enjoying this book, readers will be equipped with a whole new view of not only life in the early 20th century but of the impact woman had on it. Readers of Letters of a Woman Homesteader may also enjoy the film made from it, "Heartland." Elinore also wrote "Letters on an Elk Hunt", as well as many short pieces for periodicals of the day.
In the early 1900s, widowed young mother Elinore Pruitt Stewart accepted an offer to assist with a ranch in Wyoming, leaving behind everything familiar to embrace the new. Stewart's letters to her previous employer describe her experiences in homesteading with charm and sincerity, and narrator Gwen Hughes captures their positive, lively tone with her warm, mature voice. Stewart wrote humorously and candidly about her daily life and her encounters with animals and people alike. Hughes recreates the dialects of the diverse characters Stewart describes, and listeners will find themselves with a better appreciation of frontier life and the women who were part of it.
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Every woman in the US should read this book.
- Dolly Jane Prenzel
Optimistic Pioneer Woman Writes Letters to Friend
I would, because the narrative is delightful and the writer of the letters was so upbeat, even in the face of tragedy. She found the best of every situation and was very entertaining in the process. Her letters to her friend were full of interesting details of the time period and allow the listener to understand the "pioneer spirit" we so often hear about.
No, I wanted to spread it out so I could enjoy it more before the end.
Ms. Hughes did a great job as the reader. Her voice is extremely clear and her pacing was just right.