Eleanor Roosevelt’s Life of Soul Searching and Self Discovery: From Depression and Betrayal to “First Lady of the World” by Ann Atkins is a brief biography of the first lady aimed at the young adults (YA) crowd. The book is a first in a series called “Flash Biography.”
The book starts by describing Eleanor’s tribulations during her upbringing and leads into her courtship with future president Franklin Roosevelt. While Eleanor loved Franklin, she had to deal with her mother-in-law and her husband’s philandering.
The book describes how Eleanor won herself many fans using decorum in tough situations and compassion where very few could find any. Her constant struggle for social justice transformed the mild-mannered girl into a feisty woman whom history remembers in her own right.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Life has some good points to ponder while telling a good story. It is divided into several parts, each one starting with a “Context and Comments” section in which Ms. Atkins provides some general background about the era. The parts conclude with “Reflections for the Reader” sections in which Ms. Atkins provides some general thoughts and reflections about the historical times in comparison with today’s world.
At first I didn’t know what to think of the “Context and Comments” and “Reflections for the Reader” sections but, keeping the audience in mind, I came to like them. Those sections made the book relevant and history fun.
I liked the book; even though it certainly isn’t an encompassing biography (and clearly isn’t meant to be), it was well researched and written. The book is peppered with quotes from Mrs. Roosevelt, which were hard for me to read because of the curvy font in which they are printed, but I certainly got the gist.