I’ve had a relatively ‘ok’ reading month so far – three books that I found rather average, one that was a nice re-read, then another that had a really fun, romantic story and then this… My Life on the Road was a novel that I adored. And the one I really want to talk about.
Backstory: I consider myself a feminist – however I honestly knew zip about Gloria Steinem. I had heard of her in a sort of (oh the name has been mentioned somewhere in the far reaches of my memory but I have no idea why or by who). So when this novel was picked for Emma Watson’s new book club, Our Shared Shelf – I thought it was time to enlighten myself.
And oh my was this a wonderful, interesting novel. Let me outline my feelings in dot points:
- It flowed wonderfully – despite jumping from one time to another e.g 1970s/ current day, it was constantly comparing experiences and highlighting issues in a way that made sense and illustrated each and every point succinctly and with care. (This probably stems from Gloria’s background as a writer).
- I LOVED the anecdotes. From a veteran praising Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam war, a priest called Father Egan who got himself in trouble with the church for being concerned with racial and feminist issues and Gloria’s last days with Wilma Mankiller – an Cherokee activist. These anecdotes were beautiful, thoughtful and at times heartbreaking.
- It was novel about human experiences, how these experiences can shape us and help us grow into the people we are today. This wasn’t really a novel about Steinem and her role as a feminist icon – rather the people who inspired her along the way.
- It was interesting reading about the feminist movement, about people I had never heard of from different backgrounds. How it wasn’t always perfect and not everyone agreed – but it was important and helped create a ripple effect that still affects us today.
- I also loved the random facts sprinkled across the novel (so many footnotes!) I definitely did not know that the American Constitution was partly modeled on the Iroquois Confederacy – a native American tribe.
All in all I adored this novel and highly recommend it.
I give it 5/5*