A book review: Entertaining nonfiction, ‘Nothing Daunted’

Published 11:41 am Friday, March 23, 2012

In “Nothing Daunted, the Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West,” the author, Dorothy Wickenden, has written an entertaining nonfiction book. Wickenden is on the faculty of the Writer’s Institute at CUNY’s Graduate Center, where she teaches a course on narrative nonfiction. This book illustrates that she is well qualified to teach such a class.
Wickenden is the granddaughter of Dorothy Woodruff, one of two childhood friends who went west in 1916 to teach school in Elkhead, Colo. Dorothy and Rosamund Underwood regularly wrote letters home to their parents that tell of their trials, joys and adventures.  It is these letters and scrapbooks left by the two women that form the foundation for “Nothing Daunted.”
When Dorothy and Rosamond were hired, they were the first women of their generation from Auburn, N.Y. to have paying jobs. As “society girls,” they were bored with the parties and shopping that were their regular activities in Auburn.
The book that was created from their letters reads like fiction. You’ll find yourself wanting to read from cover to cover to learn what happened during their time in this remote western town.
If you are interested in reading “Nothing Daunted,” you’ll find it at the Lanier Library, located at 72 Chestnut Street in Tryon.
If you are not a member of the Lanier Library and would like information on how to join, call 828-859-9535. The library’s website is www.lanierlib.org.
The Lanier Library is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., on Wednesday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoons.
– article submitted by Robbie ter Kuile