• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of All the Forgivenesses by Elizabeth Hardinger

I loved Bertie! I would very happily read a full Little House in the Prairie-length series about Bertie and her life.

Oh, I loved this story! I was so sad when I finished it. Bertie! I would very happily read a full Little House in the Prairie-length series about Bertie and her life.


Bertie is tough on herself and lives a hardscrabble farming life in the early twentieth century Midwest. She broke my heart over and over by feeling as though she didn’t deserve happiness and by never realizing the value of the important and continual sacrifices she willingly made for her family.


Hardinger offers up many crisp and varied details of the time, she captures Bertie’s speech patterns, and, most importantly, she transports the reader into the gruff but hopeful mindset of a young woman forced to grow up too quickly--a woman who for years feels she must push away any hopes for a life that is easier or full of joy. And all of this is set against the backdrop of Bertie's endless daily and bone-wearying tasks of plucking chickens, caring for siblings, carting water, and all the rest. When the promise of a better life started to glimmer at the edges of her vision, I almost cheered.

Any Bossy thoughts on this book?

This is Hardinger's debut novel. I hope she's got others in the works, because I'm all in for another one from her.


I was given a copy of this book by Kensington Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


This book was mentioned in Six Historical Fiction Books I Loved Over the Past Year.