I thoroughly enjoyed reading, DOLLY Her Story by Dolly’s daughter, Jane Ruggles Pinel! The author weaves in much of her mother’s writing into an inspiring and delightfully well-written memoir. Times were so different for women and nurses in many ways in the early to mid 1900s and the memories are described so vividly that I almost felt like I was meeting Dolly.
Her life was not an easy one in many ways and as the second of ten children she faced enormous responsibilities when her father and shortly later, mother passed away unexpectedly. As a young woman she carried her own mother’s dying wishes to keep the family together in her heart and soul. I don’t want to give away details to the story, but her path to becoming a nurse and going from living in a remote and northern part of Canada to life in Boston, MA were fascinating. In fact, I’d have to say she was a nurse entrepreneur long before the term came into being. Oh and there is a great story about one of her first experiences with a patient with dementia where she demonstrated an admirable assertiveness I thought! (DOLLY Her Story is available on Amazon)
If you enjoy learning about the history women and/or nursing, I guarantee you’ll enjoy this book. Dolly was a quiet kind of heroine with a strength, compassion, and persistence that reflect positively on both! Her nursing career spanned World War I, the Spanish Flu Epidemic, the Great Depression, and World War II! I would have liked to meet her and oddly we share the same birthday.
I found out about the book during a happenstance meeting with Dolly’s granddaughter, Sandy Pinel, PhD at a recent local story telling event in Rye, NH library. I had shared some stories about my own voice that included some experiences I’ve had in my nursing career. Someday, I’ll share more about that. But Sandy shared with me a little about Dolly and happened to have a copy of the book with her!
–Jane Pinel is the author of two books, Dolly: Her Story, a memoir/biography of her mother’s life, and The Picnic Basket, a how-to book on entertaining with picnics. The contents of which were gleaned from her experience as a restaurant owner. She is the only child of Dolly.