Emily Herring Wilson Pens Book on Eleanor Roosevelt

BookReview

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

Emily Herring Wilson has written books about women, including “No One Gardens Alone: A Life of Elizabeth Lawrence,” and co-authored “North Carolina Women: Making History.” Her latest release, “The Three Graces of Val-Kill,” a book about Eleanor Roosevelt, Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook and the home they built on the edge of Hyde Park, is sure to become a favorite among book lovers in the Triad and beyond.

When Wilson, 78, spoke at Bookmarks on Oct. 11, which just happened to be the birthday of Eleanor Roosevelt, she mesmerized the crowd with stories, beginning with thanking the “Graces” in her life who supported her during her breast cancer treatment and as she wrote this book. “Grace” was the nickname President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to Eleanor’s close friends.

The audience was standing room only. Wilson’s reputation as a lecturer, writer and community activist is well known, and she didn’t disappoint. According to the book jacket, “Emily Wilson examines what she calls the most formative period in Roosevelt’s life, from 1922 to 1936, when she cultivated an intimate friendship with Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, who helped her build a cottage on the Val-Kill Creek in Hyde Park on the Roosevelt Family Land.” Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most influential First Ladies in American history. The jacket also notes, “Val-Kill was not only home to Eleanor Roosevelt but also a crucial part of how she became one of the most admired American political figures of the twentieth century.”

After Wilson spoke, she signed copies of her book while attendees enjoyed wine and birthday cake in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt. I came ready to purchase one book, but after hearing her speak, I had to purchase a second one for one of the “Graces” in my life. This book is a short read at 178 pages, but it is sure to keep you
engaged from beginning to end.

Published by the University of North Carolina Press, “The Three Graces of Val-Kill” is available at Bookmarks, 634 W 4th St., Suite 110, Winston-Salem. Call 336-747-1471 or visit www.bookmarksnc.org.

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