Thursday, November 08, 2012

Elsie - Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916

Elsie Reed Hayes
Barbara Anne Waite and I must have some things in common because this book about her grandmother is exactly the kind of book I can see myself putting together.  Elsie - Adventures of an Arizona Schoolteacher 1913-1916 is a compilation of journals, letters, and newspaper articles from a short period of time in the life of a young woman of about my own age.  We even read some of the same books (such as Laddie: A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter).  This kind of book may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it immensely.  It made me wish again that I could read the journals written by my own ancestors. But, since I don't have them, Elsie's will do for now!

Every journal is a unique expression of its author's personality and priorities.  By reading the daily, short entries of Elsie Reed Hayes -- usually no more than a few sentences -- we can see her love of family, children, education, and books.  Her loyalties are strong and her love deep.  No stranger to tragedy, we feel some of her pain as she loses a dear friend to a slow, lingering illness, deals with a broken off romance, and enjoys the growth of true and lasting love. Elsie is often vague, so I am thankful for the research and notes of the compiler. This is a real journal -- not a novel with detailed character descriptions or a carefully woven plot.

This is a treasure to Elsie's descendants and a worthy read for the rest of us.

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