Regular contributor Denise Neary is back today with a review of a book you may have missed last year. I know I did. THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF RACHEL DUPREE came out in 2010 and is described by the Chicago Sun Times as “An eye-opening look at the little-explored area of a black frontier woman in the American West.”   That gives you some idea – but here’s what Denise had to say:

I loved, loved, loved Ann Weisgarber‘s THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF RACHEL DUPREE.

I don’t know if I would have found it if a friend hadn’t suggested that I read it.

This particular friend has never steered me wrong, but this time his recommendation was:  “I think you’d like it.”

Not a lot to go on.  But I am so glad he didn’t say more.

If he had told me some of it, in straight facts, would I have gone for it?

A woman so in love with a man she agrees to give him her homestead right so the two can marry and ranch in the badlands? Would have I intuited the strength and the dignity of Rachel?  Would I have understood her sense of excitement as she was off to forge her new world?  Her fears, her loneliness, her love, as she found herself a wife, a mother?

Rachel and I are very different people, with different circumstances and different motivations.  And what is better than a book that, at first blush, seems so different from you, and then regularly reveals continuing truths.

I love Rachel Dupree.  I love the author’s story of how she discovered Rachel.  And  I was excited to see that Viola Davis has optioned rights for a movie.

So, beat the crowd—don’t wait for the movie to be made to find Rachel.

Read it now–and tell me what you think!

As my wise friend told me, I think you will like it!

— Denise Neary, Regular Contributor