I love to read memoirs and autobiographies… not biographies so much because I like it to hear the “real story.”
I just finished Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865, The Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon and loved it! I was surprised and pleased to find that she was a strong Christian and a very smart woman (24 years old). When I borrowed it from the library I just thought it looked interesting, so that was definitely a plus. She was very philosophical, too. Obviously not an airhead and very popular with almost everyone she met – the wagon train she and her family was a part of loved her, you could tell even though she was very modest in her journal. I found some parts fascinating and completely new to me such as the fact that they churned milk into butter by leaving it in the wagon while they traveled – the bumping and rocking of the wagon did all the hard work!
Inevitably, there were some sad moments on the trail. A young man was shot accidentally and died instantly. Apparently there were a group of men shooting fowl and one man’s gun wouldn’t work so he threw it into the wagon in disgust and drove on. The cap or something was off (whatever it was, no one thought the gun would go off, it was well known that it was “safe” as it was) and it just happened to go off when it was in range of the young man. It was so sad and Sarah’s confusion at the “coincidence” of it going off at that exact time when it could have missed the young man if it had gone off a second or so later was thought-provoking and tragic. There was actually very little trouble for them on the trail when compared to others. It seemed that God was protecting them the entire time. They weren’t attacked by Indians though all around them, before and after, there were people dying. I recommend this memoir – it is inspiring.
Here are a few more autobiographies I recommend (and re-read regularly):
My Posse Don’t Do Homework – LouAnne Johnson
Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness (Written by Robert Specht but it is as told to him by Anne Hobbs – Tisha)
Myrna Loy: Being and Becoming – Myrna Loy