Readers’ Corner: Mar. 2024, Women’s History Month

By Bonnie McCune and Kathleen Duhamel ~

You May Plow Here, the first-hand narrative of Sara Brooks, edited and photos by Thordis Simonsen. First published in 1986, the authenticity of its history is undeniable. Brooks, born in 1911 and raised on a farm her father owned in rural Alabama, provides a rare, personal account from a Black landowner. At age four, photographer Simonsen met Brooks, and their friendship spanned 50 years. Visits to Alabama in the 1970s helped capture the vestiges of mule farming as Brooks relayed her memories and impressions, bolstered by 33 photographs from the “heart of the Alabama Black Belt.” Simonsen appears at a program on April 9 at the Denver Women’s Press Club (https://dwpconline.org) to introduce new readers to the history.

A Natural Woman: A Memoir. Acclaimed singer-songwriter Carole King’s music helped define a generation, earning her four Grammy awards, induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Kennedy Center honors. Her account of life as a young single mother of two girls, a pivotal move from New York to the West Coast, and the overwhelming success of her album Tapestry are related in King’s warm, engaging prose, the perfect mirror for her approach to songwriting. Her anecdotes about meeting James Taylor and other musical luminaries will delight fans. 

Three Ordinary Girls. (Tim Brady) This almost unbelievable true story follows three teenagers living in German-occupied Holland during WWII, whose heroic exploits have been all but forgotten. Recruited by Dutch resistance forces, the trio of freedom fighters took terrifying risks to liberate their homeland by sheltering Jews and other dissidents, sabotaging roads and railways, and carrying out public assassinations. More of an historical account than a narrative, Three Ordinary Girls’ meticulously researched tale is a lesson in courage under fire.

Authors Kathleen Duhamel, https://www.kathleenduhamel.com/, and Bonnie McCune, https://BonnieMcCune.com, write women’s fiction.

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