Bonnets and Aprons: Mrs. Rutherford
From the back of the book:
Fionna’s story continues as she marries her beloved Mr. Rutherford, and joining him in the westward expansion onto the American frontier is soon thrown into an untamed desert wilderness where she promptly must face an abundance of unexpected challenges. Surmising that she may never see her family and friends again, she optimistically determines to forge a new life with her husband, where particularly severe and cascading ordeals continue to painfully try her patience, character, hopes and faith. Mrs. Rutherford continually learns that kindred spirits are always rare and many folks are oft full of folly: for moral purity is as gold and even truest friends do sometimes falter and fail, thus Heaven may feel afar off indeed. As she confronts tribulations, Fionna discovers that life oftentimes decrees lonely terms of frightening isolation when only God can hear supplications, although cherished lost loved ones are sometimes found again, and perchance more joy is granted to those who endure.
It all began with some research years and years ago. I’d been reading up on eighteen hundreds American history: details relative to women. Birth, actually. Natural birth, midwives, various techniques, herbs and whatever might make birth easier, friendlier, comfier, more old-fashioned natural. I’d started with books about birth around the world in other cultures and times, ‘now and then’, and had ended up discovering that a certain pioneer midwife had had stellar outcomes in difficult conditions.
Still living in Canada at the time, with only a library card to aid in my quest of actually reading diary or journal entries of that particularly successful midwife (with the aim of gleaning any pertinent information), I found out about ‘intra-library’ loans. Thus I asked for works written by pioneer women themselves. The midwives, in particular. The Utah Historical Society Library sent my library copies of hundreds of pages of pioneer women’s journal entries.
It was all very interesting. I found nothing about midwifery, but plenty of feelings and relationship details. What I noticed most was that these women were pretty much like women I knew, though perhaps in more difficult and challenging experiences. I definitely drew upon those real diaries just a little when I took Fionna to Utah.
“Bonnets and Aprons: Mrs. Rutherford” is available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon: