Book Review: Heart of The Trail

Two years ago, I took a road trip to Colorado, and always get nostalgic at this time of year.  Driving through the United States is an incredible experience.  The trip fueled a interest in western history for me. When I visit bookstores, I find myself in the Westward Expansion section.

I picked up “Heart of the Trail” by Mary Barmeyer O’Brien in  the used section of a local bookstore. It was tucked into the shelve between books about George Custer, Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. I love western history,  but one major issue I have is that women are often overlooked.  This book was different.

“ Heart of the Trail” book details the experience of eight women who traveled west. It focuses on their journey through the wilds of America. The accounts are constructed with historical information, and the women’s own accounts. This helps create a well rounded picture of their experiences. They came from different places, and had different reason for going west.  Each woman’s journey was different, yet had some of the same elements, which tied the stories together nicely.


This is not an in depth piece. The slim novel is great for someone who is just getting into the subject. The book included many great complementary sources. Within the section the sources I I found several books I was excited to add to my list. This book was very well researched ,and written superbly. Each story was presented in a way that pulled me in and kept me interested.  The book highlighted each women in a unique way that kept my attention.

I really enjoyed “The heart of the Trail”. It is a slim book, yet is a great start for those looking to learn more about our history.  This book is a good Jumping off point for anyone for anyone looking to get into the role women played in western expansion in the United States

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