BOOKS: READING FIT FOR THE FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND

a series of four books about women in the united states
the cover of a novel called a girl called samson

A Girl Called Samson
By Amy Harmon

During the American Revolution, women were rarely seen and never heard. They couldn’t attend school, own land or dream of being soldiers. When Deborah’s father abandoned her family, her mother had no choice but to send the children out as indentured servants. In a way, she was lucky; Deborah was taught to read and write. She was also bestowed upon the kind Thomas family with 10 little boys who taught her to be fearless and competitive. As war descended upon Massachusetts, the boys headed off one by one. Deborah was tall, athletic and smart. It did not take long for her to change her appearance enough to pass as “Rob,” who followed the brothers to war. Half the battle was keeping her secret; the other half was filled with all the things at which she excelled. Behaviors that could bring unwanted attention were masked by bravery, loyalty and gumption. She was offered the coveted position of aide-de-camp to a powerful general and, with a surprising twist, fell in love. Deborah Sampson was barely mentioned in our history books, and this fictionalized account of her life is simply mesmerizing.

the cover of the book the wives

The Wives
By Simone Gorrindo

Leaving New York City was not easy. Simone had a fulfilling job and a great group of friends. But after she married Andrew, he joined an elite Army unit, and the couple moved to Columbus, Georgia, a town with an army base and little else. As most newlyweds struggle with change, they had a hard time managing their dreams while supporting each other. Feeling the loneliness and financial instability of army life, Simone’s big test arrived when Andrew was deployed. Paralyzed by fear, she learned that it takes a village – or rather, “The Wives” – to make the transition to an army wife. Curious and a lifelong pacifist, Simone relentlessly questioned Andrew and their peers. She needed to understand the source of Andrew’s unflinching drive to risk his life and fight for his country. She slowly learned how the army worked and the lingo they used to pacify worried wives while their husbands were away. The more experienced wives helped her through the difficult early days, and Simone learned the meaning of true friendship. While she and Andrew meandered through the complicated maze of military life, her well-written memoir shone as a testament to faith, hope and family.

the cover of the book the reason of betty ross by wendy long stanley

The Treason of Betsy Ross
By Wendy Long Stanley

As a teen, Betsy Griscom followed her sister to the sewing shop where she worked. Without many options and quite a talented seamstress herself, Betsy applied for a position beside her. While the younger siblings kept their Quaker parents busy, they barely noticed when Betsy brought home John Ross, a handsome young man from the shop. At first, Betsy only admits to friendship but fails to reveal John’s non-Quaker rebelliousness and family ties to the Sons of Liberty. As violence in 1770 Philadelphia exploded, Betsy could not ignore the dangers of political unrest and what it meant to be married to a militiaman. She could not abide by the Quaker vow of nonviolence when their lives and that of their future children were at stake. Secretly helping John in any way she could, Betsy was drawn closer and closer to the upheaval of this new American society and the promise of an independent America. These turbulent times had many unsung heroes. Reflecting on what it meant to be a patriot, the well-known Betsy Ross was a brave feminist ahead of her time.

a movie poster for the film franklin

#WORTHWATCHING: Michael Douglas is Franklin in a dramatic series detailing the eight years Benjamin Franklin spent in France trying to persuade King Louis XVI to support the American Revolutionary War. Douglas is outstanding as Franklin comes to life on the screen. Check it out on Apple TV.

Karen Newfield
Karen Newfield is first and foremost a reader, she has reviewed hundreds of books on her blog www.readingandeating.com. And, more recently, this new Keys resident has also begun writing.