Westward Hearts: The Amelia Dale Archer Story

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9780812555301: Westward Hearts: The Amelia Dale Archer Story
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In hopes of finding a place where she can practice medicine on equal terms with men, Amelia Dale Archer attaches herself to a nineteenth-century wagon train for Los Angeles, where she joins forces with a middle-aged woman and her granddaughters. Reprint.

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From School Library Journal:

YA?In the 1850s, Dr. Amelia Archer decides that the only way she'll ever be respected professionally is to head west where women have a chance to be recognized for their own merit. She and her four granddaughters, ranging in age from 14 to 23, break away from the main wagon train to travel a southern route with a group of 12 wagons. Intent upon reaching Los Angeles, the women face hardships, escape from a massacre, and develop a respect for their own abilities. Though some of the dialogue is almost textbookish when describing the history of the area and the Indians, the story is entertaining and the characters are likable. Riefe also examines the roles of doctors of the day, illustrating constraints faced by everyone in the field from limited medicines to less than ideal conditions for surgery. The fact that female physicians endured some of the same discrimination that all women faced is woven naturally into the plot. In this fulfilling work of historical fiction, the granddaughters offer many contrasts to the traditional female role of the time period, ranging from tomboyish to romantically literate to professionally feisty.?Pam Spencer, Young Adult Literature Specialist, Virginia Beach, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

Five intrepid women and their wagon-train comrades suffer hardship, battle Apache raiders and resolve old family conflicts in Riefe's latest feminist western (Desperate Crossing: The Jenny Sanders Pryor Story, 1997). In 1857, after Dr. Amelia Dale Archer (like Pryor, a real historical figure) is unfairly passed over for the position of chief of staff at the Philadelphia Hospital, she takes her lively granddaughters (whom she has cared for since their father's abandonment and their mother's suicide) to seek a less sexist society in California. The oldest of the four is a 23-year-old lawyer; the other three are teenagers in various stages of self-discovery and hormonal upset. A great story, true in its outlines, Archer's tale cries out for a more lively treatment. Riefe writes with grit, and the plot picks up as the novel goes on, but a tepid beginning, crude exposition and jarringly anachronistic dialogue ( "I wish I had a camera"; "Shut up, dad"; "Get a grip") ultimately render Riefe's treatment inadequate to her heroic subject.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780312860776: Westward Hearts: The Amelia Dale Archer Story

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ISBN 10:  0312860773 ISBN 13:  9780312860776
Publisher: Forge, 1998
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