Prospects of a Woman
By Wendy Voorsanger
Reviewed by Meilee Anderson
I received an advance reader copy of “Prospects of a Woman” a historical fiction romance novel with a prominent theme of women’s rights for this book review. Though the story takes place about 169 years ago the tale feels fresh perhaps that’s because the topic of women’s rights is especially on the forefront of my mind these days.
“Prospects of a woman” begins with our heroine Elisabeth Parker. She arrives in California newly married during the heady days of the gold rush and has hopes of reuniting with her long-lost father. Facing the unknown of married life on the new frontier, she and her husband dream of making a living mining for gold. She faces disappointment. Her father abandons her and she and her husband flounder equally unhappy in their marriage.
Over time Elisabeth figures out what she likes and dislikes. She comes to term with her painful past, challenging present and slowly allows herself to hope for an independent future. She is a woman forced to strike out in a man’s world and find her own path.
In her debut novel, “Prospects of a Woman” Wendy Voorsanger skillfully weaves a feminist viewpoint from cover to cover. We’re introduced to strong female characters. The women of the frontier are determined to make a life for themselves. This isn’t a cheesy romance novel, though there are heaving bosoms and hardened loins. There’s a fair amount of sexual overtone to this book, enough to make me blush a few times.
Overall, I admired the gumption and moxie of Elisabeth. She came to terms with disappointments, challenges, and savored her victories. Hands down I’d have brunch with any of the women characters in this story. I would be happy to read spin-off stories that featured fully on the supporting characters.
Clever title, a fast read. I began the “Prospects of a Woman” early this morning and couldn’t put it down until I finished it. The book features multiple references to Emerson’s “Self-Reliance” book which made me want to go back and reread some of his works. Oh the “books to read” list is ever growing. Wishing you all happy reading.
About Wendy Voorsanger: Find her on fb
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