This small book is so beautifully written I hated to finish it. The story is told through personal letters from the fictional Beth Steed Garner from 1899 to 1968. Beth Steed Garner was a woman born to wealth and privilege and was accustomed to all of the pleasures of that life. She had a life as a wife, mother, grandmother, greatgrandmother, successful businesswoman and world traveler. Her most important characteristic however is that of an independent woman who plans her own life and plots her own course. In an age when it was unheard of she demanded a marriage contract based on equality, yet bound her children and family friends to her with chains of love and money. In a 20th century world, many of her most private thoughts were ahead of her time. I loved this book. I envied her the freedom she took for herself, but found I disapproved of the way she usually served her own interest before the interest of those who loved her. A darn good read. Genny Sikes
At the turn of the centruy, a time when women had few choices Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy not only of wealth, but of determination and desire, making her turly a woman of independent means. from early 1900 thru 1960's we accompany Bess as she endures life's trials and triumphs with unfailing courage and indominitable spirit: the sacrifices love sometimes requires of the heart; the flaws ands rewards of marriage; the often-tested bond between mother and child; and the will to defy a society that demands conformity.
Very unusual format in that the entire book is composed of a series of letters sent by the title character to various members of her family and friends. The book stretches from 1899 - 1968 and includes historical references appropriate for the era. An interesting read.
Originally published in 1978, A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS is the richly woven story of Bess Steed Garner, whose trials and triumphs from the early 1900s through the 1960s make her a woman for all ages.
I truly enjoyed this book. It was very entertaining, informative, and described a lot of the conflicts that women of that generation faced- and still do. I did not always like the main character, but she was a hoot!
Letters written by Bess, a woman who marries, raises children, travels, writing to family and friends during her whole life. The author has created "Bess Steed Garner--a precocious, bossy, loving and extremely believable woman who as a singular character represents much of everywoman." I couldn't put it down for very long...finished it in three days!