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The Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon. This is set in Maine in the 18th Century. When a body is found entombed in the frozen Kennebeq River, the local midwife Martha Ballard is asked to determine the cause of death, but when she pronounces it as murder the men in her village turn against her. Then the local pastor’s wife complains of a vicious assault, and Martha suspects the two things may be related. She is fearless in standing up for truth and justice. Based on historical documents about the real life Martha, this is like peeling the layers off an onion - the truth teases out slowly, and the author takes you along for the entire ride. I didn’t want to miss a single word. Loved it!
The Woman in Me by Britney Spears. This has had a lot of media attention lately but for someone like me who doesn’t know her music at all, but is always fascinated by peoples’ life stories, it was a genuinely interesting read. She really has had a hard time and been consistently let down by the people she’s been closest to and who should have cared for her the most. Her own family treated her like the proverbial cash cow; her boyfriends behaved badly, and the court placed her under the conservatorship of her father, where she stayed for years – for no good reason. I knew very little about her and am glad I read the book – although we know a lot of this to be true it’s eye opening once again to see the different standards applied to women, particularly ones in the public eye.
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