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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A novel based on the life of Martha Hughes Cannon, a pioneer woman who overcame tremendous odds. When her baby sister and her father die on the pioneer trail to Salt Lake City, Mattie is determined to become a healer. But her chosen road isn’t an easy one as she faces roadblocks common to Victorian women. Fighting gender bias, geographic location, and mountains of self-doubt, Mattie pushed herself to become more than the world would have her be, only to have everything she’s accomplished called into question when she meets the love of her life: Angus Cannon, a prominent Mormon leader and polygamist. From the American Frontier to European coasts, Martha’s path takes her on a life journey that is almost stranger than fiction as she learns to navigate a world run by men. But heartache isn’t far behind, and she learns that knowing who you are and being willing to stand up for what you believe in is what truly defines a person. Her Quiet Revolution is the story of one woman’s deter…

Overall Book Review:

Her Quiet Revolution: A Novel of Martha Hughes Cannon is inspiring historical fiction. Author Marianne Monson brings Martha Hughes Cannon’s impressive accomplishments to light with articulate writing and thorough research. Readers will get to know Martha — aka Mattie — and understand the challenges facing women in the nineteenth century. Mattie is likeable and portrayed as a bright and hard-working woman with hopes and dreams. The story includes lots of well-known figures from the Utah territory and captures the time period well. Readers will especially enjoy Mattie’s journey to Wales, Welsh folktales, and training to become a doctor. Through well-constructed writing, Monson evokes the anguish Mattie must also have felt as a polygamous wife. Her Quiet Revolution is a strong work with a powerful message about the importance of education and hard-work despite all obstacles. 

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Shadow Mountain


Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  None

Violence/Gore:  A verbal threat is made; several secondhand reports of violence include a doctor being beaten by guards, children hit on the head and women hung for witchcraft; a brief scene of violence involves a character slapping another. 

Sex/Nudity:  A few incidents of kissing; a sexual reference made in a medical school classroom; a few implied incidents of sexual activity regarding an affair and the mention of brothels. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Death of family members, death of a child, child abuse, polygamy, hiding and evading the law, dissecting bodies for science, discrimination and prejudice against women, racism, feminism, women’s right to vote, a mention of death due to poor mental health, ancient women healers, taxidermy. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A mother sneaks sips of whiskey throughout the day; talk of a ‘brutal and drunken husband’; a few characters smoke. 

Overall Book Rating
Profanity/Language
Rating:
0
10
Violence/Gore
Rating:
2
10
Sex/Nudity
Rating:
3
10

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.