Book Review- Frontier Grit: The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

three pioneer women with riflesI enjoy reading books about tough women from history, and this book did not disappoint. Frontier Grit tells the stories of twelve pioneer women. Each chapter is devoted to one woman and at the end of each chapter, author Marianne Monson gives an enlightening message about what we can learn from that particular woman.

One of the stories was about a famous stagecoach driver who lived most of her life as a man. It wasn’t until her death that they found out she was female. I found this story very remarkable because  the driver lived her whole life as a man without anyone finding out. She even registered to vote back when women weren’t allowed to vote.

Another woman featured in the book is Martha Hughes Cannon, one of our LDS pioneer women. She’s the one who was set apart to become a doctor and later ran for office and became a state senator. Her husband and other members (such as Emmeline B. Wells), also ran for office in that same election, and Cannon became state senator. The sad thing is that she had her diaries burned after she died.

Another story I loved was the one of Clara Brown. She was a slave and lost her family when they were sold and separated. Her deepest goal in life was to find her daughter. After the slaves were freed, Clara searched for her daughter for almost 50 years before she found her at last. Her faith in God carried her through all the hard times and helped her find peace.

These are just a few glimpses of the stories of great women you’ll find in this book. Each story is unique and worth reading, and leaves behind a great legacy. I like that each woman had a unique story. They had their own talents, their own path in life to follow. I especially loved this quote about one of the women, “Abigail is a resounding reminder not to minimize your own opinions nor doubt the power of your voice to truly change the world” (50). Some of the other stories were about fighting for American Indian rights, addressing child labor and the awful factory conditions, and rescuing Chinese girls from human trafficking.

This book shows that women are strong and have accomplished and continue to accomplish many great things throughout history. It’s a work that inspires people to change the world. It also reminds us that the women who accomplished great things also went through great trials. Their accomplishments weren’t easy and they had to fight their way through many obstacles. One of the women in the book asked, “What are you going to do with your life?” (164).

Another of my favorite quotes is:

“A life viewed in retrospect, whether fictional or drawn from reality, tends to feel inevitable, as if it could not have happened any other way. But this inevitability is only an illusion of hindsight. The reality is that any of these stories could have had drastically different endings at any point of their narratives” (195).

I loved this book so much and I recommend it to anyone, especially to women. This book is definitely one of those valuable treasures whose stories and lessons will stay with you for a long time.


Dani enjoys readings fantasy and sci-fi, watching Bollywood movies, and learning about cultures and new languages. She's an animal lover and enjoys writing novels.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Rita says:

    We read this for my book club, and we had a great discussion about the different women. I enjoyed learning about these strong individuals who came from such different backgrounds and succeeded in a difficult world.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.