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Extended Audio Sample Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman, by Mary Mann Hamilton Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mary Mann Hamilton Narrator: Barbara Benjamin-Creel Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Raw, vivid, and emotional—the nineteenth century first-person account of one woman’s struggles and triumphs taming the Mississippi Delta.

Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866–c.1936) was encouraged to record her experience as a female pioneer. The result is the only known first-hand account of a woman thrust into the center of taming the American South—surviving floods, tornadoes, and fires; facing bears, panthers, and snakes; all while caring for her children, several of whom didn’t survive despite her efforts. The extreme hard work and tragedy she faced are eclipsed only by her strength and faith in her husband, a mysterious Englishman, and by her sense of adventure.

Written in frank and expressive prose, and withheld for almost a lifetime, Trials of the Earth speaks to the heart of our ability to endure and will resonate with listeners of history and fiction alike.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Best Books of 2016, The Chicago Tribune
  • It's the backstory that will first grab a reader, but it's Hamilton's gift for storytelling in her blunt voice that makes this memoir such a standout. . . . Beyond everything else, this memoir impresses on readers just how easy it was to vanish in an earlier America.... How fortunate that the manuscript of Trials of the Earth didn't meet that same fate. Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
  • A riveting and instructive read.... Hamilton is a natural-born storyteller.... [Her] first-person accounts are important testimonials about what used to be. Melanie Kirkpatrick, Wall Street Journal
  • Magnificent. Told with precision and searing honesty, Hamilton's captivating and cinematic autobiography deserves to be a classic. Ann Weisgarber, author of The Personal History of Rachel DuPree and The Promise
  • A reminder of how punishing the physical struggle could be, and how unspeakably lonely a woman's life was when men were clearing the land. Rosellen Brown, New York Times Book Review
  • A unique story. Crystal Goldman, Library Journal
  • Hamilton's matter-of-factness wins you over almost immediately, and unexpectedly.... Most remarkably, this book somehow enables a reader not to feel abject guilt at complaining about the temperature of their latte, but only a genuine gratefulness and admiration for those who went before. Kim Ode, Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Fast-paced, inspirational and fascinating.... Mary Mann Hamilton's life was an endurance test and Trials of the Earth is her remarkable story.... Modern women will marvel at Hamilton's grueling daily schedule.... There are valuable lessons to be gleaned from Hamilton's pioneer code of conduct. Patricia Dawn Robertson, Toronto Star
  • “A riveting and instructive read…Hamilton is a natural-born storyteller…[Her] first-person accounts are important testimonials about what used to be.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • Trials of the Earth…underscores the huge power of unvarnished storytelling…This is an unblinking narration of a life hard-lived by a woman who never lost her strength, humor, or morality.”

    USA Today (3/4 stars)

  • “A reminder of how punishing the physical struggle could be, and how unspeakably lonely a woman’s life was when men were clearing the land.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Hamilton’s matter-of-factness wins you over almost immediately and unexpectedly…[and promotes] genuine gratefulness and admiration for those who went before.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “Wherever there is men’s work, you can bet women’s work is happening invisibly in the background. Trials of the Earth is a firsthand account of this backbreaking labor…It’s impossible not to root for this woman.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Mary’s unsentimental story crackles with personality, putting a face on the unsung, nameless tillers of the soil.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hamilton’s rich personal tapestry is a testament to endurance and to the indomitable spirit of the often overlooked American pioneer woman.”

    Booklist

  • “Narrator Barbara Benjamin-Creel gives a spirited narration of this memoir of a pioneer in the Mississippi Delta…Benjamin-Creel has a versatile, expressive voice that gives a credible Southern accent to Hamilton and an aristocratic air to Hamilton’s husband. Benjamin-Creel reads at a pace that is easy to follow but not meandering.”

    AudioFile

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