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Cover for The Bonnet Book

The Bonnet Book

Diary of an Orphan Train Hatmaker

Nancy Menees Hardesty


List Price: 11.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Sent away on an orphan train at fourteen, smart and lovely Blanche Spencer lands in St. Louis, Missouri as a nursemaid, wearing rags and sleeping in a pantry. To rise above her servitude, she begins a self-education program. A trade booth at the 1904 World's Fair and a Cobden, Illinois apprenticeship launch her into a hat-making career, which she documents in a tiny diary, The Bonnet Book.

An early example of self-determination and girl power, Blanche-now Bonnie-travels alone to the Wild West, where she's presented with the chance of a lifetime and the possibility of love-both rife with challenges that test her drive, purpose in life, and sense of self.

The Bonnet Book diary and other historical items in the novel are real-life touchstones in this gripping, inspiring story based on the life of the author's grandmother.

Solificatio, 9780997761948, 402pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2020