21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Labor of Love That is Hard to Love,
This review is from: Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West (Hardcover)
This was a labor of love on the part of the author. Her grandmother, Dorothy Woodruff, was one of the two intrepid high society East Coast young ladies who set off for Colorado in 1916 to spend a year teaching in a rural school. A lot of research went into the preparation of this book, and there are certainly some interesting bits of history sprinkled throughout. Unfortunately, it's just one big bundle of digressions, which made it a torture for me to get through. I did finish it, but I cannot recommend it with enthusiasm.
I won't write a long review dwelling on the book's flaws, but the constant digressions are the most frustrating thing about it. Every time you think the story's going to pick up steam and start living up to the title, it veers off onto some new historical path. For example, when Dorothy and Ros are riding the train from Denver up into the mountains, Wickenden takes off on a long boring narrative about the building of the Moffat Tunnel and the railroad they're riding on.
I really did like Dorothy and Ros, and I admired their adventuresome spirit and willingness to roll with the punches when they encountered situations so different from their sheltered, affluent upbringing. I think their experiences deserve a more focused and colorful presentation than is given in this book.