I reviewed here. I received this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Seven lives. Spread across history, starting with Joan of Arc and ending with Rosa Parks, 7 Women and the Secret of Their Greatness is an introductory biography. Obviously too short to be an in-depth look at any of their lives, the chapter length looks get past the one-sentence summary that we often get.
First, of course, one could look at how Metaxas chose the women to feature. History has not always been balanced in recording the lives of women and men. As such, writing a biography can be very difficult if you go looking too far back. There's just not the source material. Metaxas' choice of Joan of Arc is understandable, given the records that are available about her. Beyond that, he's chosen women from the Enlightenment Age onward.
Additionally, it was his choice to include women who excelled at whatever they did, rather than seeking the ones who were "pathbreakers" into the traditional "men's world." Rather than setting up the false idea that women have to pick one side or another of the gender gap, instead he chose to highlight women who succeeded in both traditional and non-traditional fields.
How is the writing?
Metaxas writes with a friendly style that is easy to follow. It's not as in-depth as some writers, but this is an intro work. hopefully it will spur you to read full biographies of all seven named in the book.
Factually, I must proceed on the assumption that Metaxas and his editors have ensured the accuracy of what is stated. I know that some aspects of the lives of Joan of Arc and Maria Skobtsova are hard to prove and drawn at parts from legend. These still read well.
All in all, this is well worth reading. It's on our shelf for all three kids, as well as having been enjoyed by the adults.
As noted above: book provided in exchange for the review.
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