Three True Stories About Three Remarkable Women: Three Book Recommendations
In the last couple weeks I've completed three books: each written by a woman and each telling the true and remarkable story of either another woman's life or her own life. I recommend all three books.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot tells the story of Henrietta Lacks who was a poor tobacco farmer who died in 1951. Without her knowledge and without the consent of her family, Henrietta's cells were harvested, thrived and multiplied in a laboratory, and used around the world in research and pioneering medical developments. Her cells were sold by the billions before her husband or children ever knew. The book weaves together an American history of race, the disparity in healthcare amongst races and classes, and the scientific advancements made in the second half of the 20th century. The reader also learns of the torment suffered by Henrietta's children, largely as a result of the exploitation of their mother's body without their knowledge. The story is captivating, heartbreaking, and true.
Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist by Karen Swallow Prior is described best by the Amazon page where it's for sale, "The enthralling biography of the woman writer who helped end the slave trade, changed Britain’s upper classes, and taught a nation how to read." Hannah is now a hero of mine. She impacted 18th century England through prolific writing, providing education to the poor, compelling compassion amongst the wealthy, leading the church in applying a Biblical worldview to all of life, and in striving to end the slave trade. If you admire William Wilberforce, then you need to meet Hannah More too. Thank you Karen Swallow Prior for introducing me. This will be required reading for my daughters too.
Unveiling Grace: The Story of How We Found Our Way out of the Mormon Church by Lynn K. Wilder was both disturbing and fascinating. Dr. Wilder was a tenured professor at the Mormon Church's Brigham Young University and her husband achieved a high position and status in the Mormon Church (also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints or the LDS Church). They were devoted members of the church for 30 years until one of their sons went on his obligatory two-year Mormon mission and became a Christian. He heard the true gospel of the true Jesus Christ and begged his parents to start reading the New Testament. Their son's conversation and bravery led to the whole family leaving the Mormon faith and their entire way of life and embracing Christianity. The story takes the reader deep inside the Mormon church and theology--you have to it read to believe it--both the documentation of the LDS Church and the journey of the Wilder family. This is a must read for anyone who wants to know more about Mormonism or who loves Mormons.