This book is a wonderful mix of pictures and stories about the women who helped settle and civilize the west. Interestingly divided into :the journey west (how they really traveled in those wagons!), a home in the west (how to set up house and feed and clothe your family FROM SCRATCH!), behind closed doors (family dynamics, illness, death, estrangement, solitude, work, etc.), the work of women's hands (just what were all the jobs a woman had to take care of on a daily basis?), and lastly molders and shapers (how women established communities, churches, schools, and provided civilization and structure and stability) -- the list of items is overwhelming when viewed like this.I would recommend this book to anyone interested in finding out just what work was necessary to travel west and carve out a living and a community from the wilderness. And anyone who wishes they could do all the work a man could do in modern times should read this book too. These women did the work of the men and MORE. In addition to the work of bearing and raising children, sometimes burying children, managing their homes, holding down the farm while their husband's often had to search for work elsewhere and send the money home (remember how Pa Ingalls had to do that in the Little House series? Who did all the work Pa didn't do? Ma did, with a little help from her girls!), they also connected with other women and established schools and hospitals and created businesses and worked harder than I would believe possible.I finished this book with a profound thankfulness for these godly women who worked so very hard, and literally were the hands who built the cities and states they lived in.