I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way. I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.
Victoria Woodhull and her partner James Blood were controversial figures of their time. So controversial, that they have been all but erased from history. Victoria’s life was controversial from her conception; however she always knew that she was destined for greatness. Victoria and her sister, Tennessee are used and abused by their parents. Tennessee is set up as a healer and Victoria is proffered as a medium to speak to the dead. At a young age, Victoria is whisked away and married to a much older Dr. Canning Woodhull, while her life is better than with her parents, Victoria is still subjected to Canning's drunkenness and whoring. Also, Canning wasn't expecting such an intelligent, willful and strong girl as his wife. As Victoria grows, her mind evolves as well. She has strong opinions on slavery and women's rights. Victoria meets Susan B. Anthony and her fervor grows, when Victoria meets and falls in love with Civil War hero, James Blood, she is given the opportunity to act on her dreams of women's rights. With James' encouragement Victoria is able to open a financial institution, start a newspaper and even run for president.
I was captivated by Victoria's life from the point of her describing her conception in a whore's tent at a Methodist revival. From then, it seems like she hit the ground running and there was not one dull moment in her fascinating life. While Victoria's life was difficult, she persevered through her strong will, determination and ever increasing gains in knowledge and insight. Victoria's progressive thinking and ideas to further herself continually impressed me. I also loved seeing other historical figures through her eyes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Commodore Vanderbilt were shown in a different light. Victoria's sister, Tennessee is also an enthralling character, the polar opposite of Victoria, but her best friend and companion for the campaign. I feel like I could go on and on about Victoria's contributions to women's rights and her amazing life. I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to learn about Victoria as an important historical figure. I wish she would have appeared in my history textbooks as well, but she has fallen to the wayside as a victim of censorship and impropriety, which is exactly what she fought so hard against.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.