Her Quiet Revolution

A Novel of Martha Hughes Cannon: Frontier Doctor and First Female State Senator

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on BN.com Buy on Bookshop.org
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 18 Feb 2020 | Archive Date 10 Mar 2020

Talking about this book? Use #HerQuietRevolution #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


An historically rich novel that brings to life the fascinating story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in the frontier territory of Utah in the late 19th century.
As a young girl traveling to Utah by wagon in 1861, Martha, or Mattie as she was called, was deeply influenced by the early struggles her family endured as frontier pioneers, including the premature deaths of her baby sister and father. From those early experiences, she found her calling. Alleviating physical suffering and healing became her goals, and Mattie worked with astounding dedication and resolve to achieve those goals. She began teaching school at age fourteen and worked as a typesetter for the influential Women’s Exponent newspaper to pay for college where she graduated with a degree in chemistry.
In 1880, Mattie stepped into the lecture hall of the University of Michigan medical school, the only woman in the class and one of a handful of women to attend the school in its history. The room erupted at her entrance—laughter, scoffing, voices calling out, and more than one person muttering about the “hen medic.” Many male professors, thinking it indelicate, refused to discuss anatomy if women students were in the room, and they were often forced to observe from an annex area outside the regular classroom.  
Resolved and single-minded, Mattie graduated from medical school at the age twenty-three, the only female in her class. As a doctor, she returned to frontier Utah, set up a medical practice, and established classes for midwives where she lectured on obstetrics. As a suffragette, she was outspoken at the Columbia Exposition of Chicago, where she delivered a rousing speech on behalf of women’s rights. She married in secrecy at age twenty-seen, and later lived in exile for two years because her husband practiced plural marriage, which was illegal, and she didn’t want to testify against him.
She returned to Utah in 1888 and took an active part in politics and women’s suffrage. She ran for office as a Democrat against the Republican candidate, who was her husband and won, becoming the first woman ever elected as a state senator in the US.
This is the first historical fiction novel based on the real life of Martha Hughes Cannon, a woman whose extraordinary life as a pioneer woman paralleled the life of the nation, struggling to grow and expand westward, wrestling with the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all its citizens, including women, and overcoming tremendous odds and roadblocks by forging the uniquely American spirit of the west: independence, innovation, dedication, and stick-to-itiveness which defined her generation and this chapter in American history.

An historically rich novel that brings to life the fascinating story of America’s first female state senator, Martha Hughes Cannon, who was also a doctor, suffragist, and champion of public health in...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781629726090
PRICE $24.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

Send to Kindle (PDF)

Average rating from 46 members

Featured Reviews

#HerQuietRevelution #NetGalley

A historical novel on the life of Martha Huges Cannon. Mattie learned about death from a young age and grew up loving to learn about science. She worked as a type setter, to pay her way through school. Against her mothers wishes, Mattie went back East to college, to study medicine and become a doctor. Mattie was smart and was at the top of her class. When Mattie came back to Utah, she joined the women's suffrage and was an advocate for women. Mattie married a polygamist around the time the government was trying to ban polygamy. Mattie became Utah's first woman senator. This book could have been a little shorter, I liked Mattie's strong determination to become a doctor, in a time where only a few women went into the medical field.

Was this review helpful?

A wonderful read. The main character drew me in and, surprisingly, despite her successes and milestone events had me angry at choices she made for herself and her family. A sign of a great read - I kept going, learning, journeying, and discovering.

Was this review helpful?

Her Quiet Revolution by Marianne Monson was an interesting read. I was kind of shocked and alarmed I had not previously heard of the remarkable real-life woman portrayed as the main character. As other reviewers noted, her life displayed some dichotomies with her professional ambitions not necessarily matching mainstream expectations for the choices made in her personal life. I have mixed feelings about the author taking some liberties... I feel like it can help make a story more compelling but also regret the loss of pure authenticity.

Was this review helpful?

Very interesting! 3.75 stars.
But some parts were slightly slow, but still very interesting. The cover dose not do this book justice.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: