Frontier Grit
Marianne Monson

Book cover image

Narrated By: Caroline Shaffer

Duration: 5 hours and 49 minutes

What to expect

Discover the stories of twelve women who heard the call to settle the west and who came from all points of the globe to begin their journey.

As a slave, Clara watched as her husband and children were sold, only to be reunited with her youngest daughter, as a free woman, six decades later. As a young girl, Charlotte hid her gender to escape a life of poverty and became the greatest stagecoach driver that ever lived. As a Native American, Gertrude fought to give her people a voice and to educate leaders about the ways and importance of her culture.

These are gripping miniature dramas of good-hearted women, selfless providers, courageous immigrants and migrants, and women with skills too innumerable to list. Many were crusaders for social justice and women’s rights. All endured hardships, overcame obstacles, broke barriers, and changed the world.

The author ties the stories of these pioneer women to the experiences of women today with the hope that they will be inspired to live boldly and bravely and to fill their own lives with vision, faith, and fortitude. To live with grit.


Social and cultural history, Gender studies: women and girls, History of the Americas, Biography: general, Gender studies: women and girls, History of the Americas, Local history

Listen to a sample

“There’s admiration in Caroline Shaffer’s voice as she narrates the stories of twelve women and their accomplishments in the American West…Shaffer performs a variety of voices to preserve the women’s words. Listeners will no doubt find the women Monson writes about as admirable as she does.”


“[A] worthy compilation…Many sources and references listed for those who wish to discover more.”

Historical Novel Society

“Monson reimagines the campfire tall tale by introducing readers to overlooked talks of many forgotten heroines of the American West. Each biographical story defines perseverance, and there are inspiring examples of courage on each page as well as new lessons in how to live…Will resonate with all interested in the long-hidden chapters in American history. A compact, informative, briskly paced, emotionally rich, and eye-opening set of micro-biographies.”


“An invaluable contribution to American History shelves and utterly absorbing from cover to cover. Highly recommended.”

Midwest Book Review

“The stories of twelve fascinating women will captivate you while exposing you to the history they did not teach us in school…[Monson] hopes that…modern women will understand how much we owe those who came before us, and understand what they were risking by pursuing their goals.”