A Place of Her Own: The Legacy of Oregon Pioneer Martha Poindexter Maupin by Janet Fisher is, as the title implies, concerned with concepts of family and legacy as well as ideas of possession and ownership, and the bonds of women through family legacy. When the author buys her family’s centennial farm, she becomes preoccupied with the woman who began it all: Martha Poindexter Maulpin. Maupin was Fisher’s great-great-grandmother, a woman who married and traveled west only to have her husband perish, leaving her in charge of running of the farm and raising many children in an age when very few women owned property. In the book, Fisher transforms her great-great-grandmother’s story, based on research and family legend, into a historical narrative, detailing Martha’s life as an unusually strong woman in a difficult age. Fisher recreates historical fact as a story, rather than merely relating who did what to whom and when. She also intersperses her own experiences throughout the book, from writing the book to occasions in her life that mirror Martha’s. Fisher’s curiosity about the woman whose farm she owns brings Martha to life again on the page.

[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: TwoDot
Formats: Paperback, Mass Market Paperback, eBook
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“Poke [your guts] back in and keep on fighting.”

Fisher writes with a wide, meandering prose that is pleasurable to read. A Place of Her Own reads like a walk with the author through the back forty, chatting about family, legacy and loss – another significant theme in the book – specifically the loss of man and what it means, then and now. A Place of Her Own is a very pleasant book, empowering in its exploration of the pioneer spirit, the pull of the land, and the battle to keep it. This book is recommended for fans of pioneer history, genealogy and genealogical research, or who enjoy a good family tale.

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