Monday, February 7, 2011

Three Women - Three Books

Different cultures, different times. I’ve recently read three books that reveal the vast breadth of women’s experience. If you’re interested…

Dr. Joan Sherwood’s Infection of the Innocents (McGill –Queens University Press, 2010) offers captivating insights into the stories of healthy wet nurses in late 18th century France who were exploited to treat syphilitic babies. The nurses were fed mercury, the standard medicine for syphilis at the time, in the hopes that the diluted medicine would cure the babies. The legal and medical breakthroughs that arose at this tumultuous time in French history have ramifications down to this day.

Andrea Cameron’s Cameron’s Corner (Butternut Publishing, 2010) provides an often quirky, frequently moving, sometimes witty and always fascinating look at life as a twenty-first century woman. As a mother, teacher, and world traveler, Cameron gives the reader one thought-provoking episode after another. Reflections range broadly from parenting an exceptional child to caring for Nepalese orphans to saving the Arctic ice to dealing with breast cancer. Each short vignette takes the reader on a ride straight to the heart. Cameron’s book is available at Leeds County Books, Brockville and from the publisher.

Lastly, Crystle Mazurek’s recently released Mommy, When are We Going Home? (GSPH, 2011) chronicles Mazurek’s own journey back to India, where she had lived as a child with her missionary parents. Mazurek returns to the village of her youth, and eventually establishes the India Village Fund. This one woman organization now arranges educational funding for hundreds of Indian children and youth, providing them not only with necessary school fees but with trade tools upon graduation. This is a story of determination and hope, comparable to Three Cups of Tea.

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