My friends at PR by the Book invited me to join in the blog tour for this new historical fiction novel: Prospects of a Woman by Wendy Voorsanger, and I couldn’t say no. This story takes place during the Gold Rush in California, and you all know I love a story with strong women, historical context, and that takes place in my home state! And somehow I had missed (until I started reading) that her best friend is Louisa May Alcott! The protagonist is from Concord (my favorite place nearby) and writes letters to my favorite author (LMA). This book was made for me!
Here’s the overview:
The story of one woman’s passionate quest to carve out a place for herself in the liberal and bewildering society that emerged during the California gold rush frenzy
Prospects of a Woman
By Wendy Voorsanger
Elisabeth Parker comes to California from Massachusetts in 1849 with her new husband, Nate, to reunite with her father, who’s struck gold on the American River. She soon realizes her husband is not the man she thought—and neither is her father, who abandons them shortly after they arrive. As Nate struggles with his sexuality, Elisabeth is forced to confront her preconceived notions of family, love, and opportunity.
She finds comfort in corresponding with her childhood friend back home, writer Louisa May Alcott, and spending time in the company of a mysterious Californio Don. Armed with Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance, she sets out to determine her role in building the West, even as she comes to terms with the sacrifices she must make to achieve independence and happiness.
Prospects of a Woman is a fresh, authentic retelling of the West that explores women’s contributions in California and shatters the stereotypes of the typical hard-boiled novel of the West that has captured the American imagination for over a century.
About the Author:
Born and raised on the American River in Sacramento, Wendy Voorsanger has long held an intense interest in the historical women of California. She started her career in the Silicon Valley, writing about technology trends and innovations for newspapers, magazines, and Fortune 100 companies.
She currently manages SheIsCalifornia.net, a blog dedicated to chronicling the accomplishments of California women through history. Her debut historical novel, Prospects of a Woman will be published in October 2020 (She Writes Press); an excerpt entitled “Shifting in California” won 1st place in the California Writers Club short story contest and is published in the Fault Zone: Shift: An Anthology of Stories.
She earned a B.A. in Journalism from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a member of the Castro Writers’ Cooperative, the Lit Camp Advisory Board, and the San Mateo Public Library Literary Society.
In addition to being an author, Wendy has worked as a lifeguard, ski instructor, and radio disc jockey. Wendy lives in Northern California with her husband and two sons.
I truly loved this book! I loved the history. I loved the intrepidness of the main character, Elisabeth. I loved how it tied Concord, MA in to the storyline with my beloved Alcotts. It was so well-written and truly interesting with all the information on women’s roles and women’s rights back when California was a new state.
Highly recommended and destined to be one of my favorite reads of the year!
Thank you so much for making me part of the tour!