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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
The Lodge Women, Their Men and Their Times by Emily Lodge is a genealogical memoir in which Emily talks about several generations of family members right from the time of their arrival in America and their subsequent lives and lifestyles. In this book, Emily starts off with an introduction to the subject and the reason behind it, which is to highlight the women of the family and their lives that weren’t as public knowledge as the lives of the men. The book is then divided into two main parts. Part I talks about the historical and genealogical records as such of the family, which include many people that were important in American history including Senator Henry Cabot Lodge and his wife, Nannie. In Part II we hear about the next generation Bay and his Bessie, centered around their interpersonal lives, marriage, and events, etc. Throughout this book are scattered many photos and portraits of the actual people, their homes, and places along with actual letter reproductions that give a glimpse into the thoughts and feelings of these people in their own words. There is also an appendix and bibliography at the end of the book.
The Lodge Women, Their Men and Their Times is an interesting read and provides a lot of detailed information about the people in this family, including the dates and times when events happened along with their written letters of those times. This really brings history alive and the photographs complement the narrative really well. Although it is obvious that the family is rich, powerful, and privileged, the focus of the book is on the lives of the women who in their hopes, dreams, and emotions are no different from the average woman. What I really liked about the book was this emphasis on women from a feminist perspective that shows how although they did not necessarily hold public positions of power in society, they were the backbone of society so to speak. Their relationships within marriage and with men show them to be outspoken, strong, and independent within the confines of a gender-biased society. Emily Lodge’s writing style is pleasant, detailed, and conversational and makes this book a good read.