Friday, March 29, 2019

The Doctor Wore Petticoats

The Doctor Wore Petticoats. Chris Enss. 2006. 144 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence:  The frontier of the wild West resisted attempts to tame it by adventurous pioneers who were hell-bent on making a life for themselves and their families on the open range. The terrain was rough and unyielding, not unlike its new inhabitants. Most of these inhabitants were as stubborn about accepting female doctors as the land was about accepting them.

Premise/plot: This is a nonfiction book sharing biographical sketches of twelve women doctors (ten doctors and two dentists, if you want to get specific). Chris Enss highlights these women: Bethenia Owens-Adair, Georgia Arbuckle Fix, Susan La Flesche Picotte, Susan Anderson, Nellie Mattie MacKnight, Patty Bartlett Sessions, Nellie Pooler Chapman, Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Mary Canaga Rowland, Ellis Reynolds Shipp, Franc Johnson Newcomb, and Flora Hayward Stanford.

My thoughts: I love, love, love this one. I found it fascinating--compelling. I loved how many chapters includes quotes from primary source materials. Readers often get the opportunity to learn about the lives of each individual in her own words. These quotes may be brief--sprinkled here and there throughout the sketch--but they are there. Also each chapter includes a photograph of the subject. It was just a joy to meet each of these women. Their stories are unique--these are not copy-cat cases. Each woman's journey was her own.

I bought this book at a charity shop in town. I probably picked it up because of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman if I'm being honest. But it was a million times better than any fictional story set in the "old West." It was so worth the $2 I spent on it. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Jean said...

Oh, I'm so glad to see Ellis Shipp and Patty Sessions included. Amazing women. (And my husband is descended from Patty Sessions, but then so are a lot of people) I would love to read this!