“Eel River Rising” by Laura Reasoner Jones

“Eel River Rising” by Laura Reasoner Jones

A wonderful journey through one woman’s life. Laura Reasoner Jones has put together the life of her great-grandmother, Florence Reasoner, through the eyes of those who knew her best. The story is told primarily through correspondence to Flora.

She lived through a pivotal period of American history, from the Civil War to the Great Depression. When her life begins women have very few rights and are dependent on men for their support but she lives to see women gain the right to vote and control their own money and property.

Flora had wanted to be a doctor like her father but she was denied the opportunity to go to college. After her marriage she sets up and operates, in complete secrecy, a clinic for the poor of her city. She teaches English to the immigrants, provides medical services, and instructs mothers in the art of parenting. She is also a worker for the women’s right to vote group in her area. Near the end of her life she struggles with the thought that she really didn’t do anything with her life. But those around her saw her as a key person in their lives, providing them with encouragement in their own endeavors and an inspiration to continue their education and work to improve their own communities.

I found this story to be both educational and inspiring. Sometimes we take for granted the rights that we now possess and this story really opened my eyes to just how tough the fight to get those rights was. I hope you will also enjoy this book and never forget those who came before us and the work they did.

Eel River Rising

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