I received a free copy for my honest review.
About the Book:
At a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women, Lucy Lobdell boldly set forth to earn men’s wages. Lucy Lobdell did all of these things in a personal quest to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. In this riveting historical novel, William Klaber captures the life of a brave woman who saw well beyond her era.
About the Author:
- WILLIAM KLABER is a part-time journalist. He lives in upstate New York on a hill overlooking Basket Creek, a short way upstream from where Lucy Lobdell lived 160 years ago.
This tale of a woman who defied conventions in the late 19th century intrigued me. Lucy Lobdell didn’t fit in with her family or her town. She married an abusive man and had a daughter but when he up and left she ended up back at home where she was not really welcomed. She then took off to try and earn some money to support herself and her daughter – leaving her daughter behind. But she took off dressed as a man as she figured she could earn more money that way. So starts her life living as Joseph Lobdell.
I found the story fascinating. It wasn’t a time that accepted any aberrations from the norm so Lucy’s behaviors were very daring. She lived openly as a man and even married. Life was not easy for Lucy/Joseph as several times she was found out and had to leave an established life in a very big hurry. But this did not stop her from trying to live the life she wanted to live.
The novel is based on the life of real person. She did not live a happy life and was ultimately forced into an insane asylum. Mr. Klaber brings Lucy to life as she struggles with what she feels and how society perceives her. The book moves along at a measured pace as the reader gets to know Lucy, her family and ultimately Joseph as he is a different character from Lucy.
I found this novel to be truly fascinating. The time period was not one that gave many freedoms to women to do much more than marry, keep house and have children. If they did work as say, a teacher they received half the pay as a man. (Not that women today receive equal pay for equal work but it’s generally better than 50%.) I enjoyed the depiction of the time period – the book is well researched in that regard. An intriguing look at a young woman just born at the wrong time.
You can purchase The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell at Amazon.com