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May 28, 2019

Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor by Rebecca Rosenberg ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I've never heard of Baby Doe Tabor and I don't usually read stories set in the 1800s, but I fell in love with Rebecca Rosenberg's writing when I listened to the audiobook The Secret Life of Mrs. London (read my review). So when I saw at NetGalley that she had a new book coming out I knew I had to give it a try. Once again Rosenberg proved she is a powerful storyteller and I fell in love with Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

May 2019; Lion Heart Publishing; 978-0578427799
ebook, print (318 pages); historical fiction
It is kind of ironic that a woman is looked down upon and called a gold digger when the only real opportunity to improve her life is through marriage to a well-to-do man. However, when men only associate with a wealthy man in order to receive monetary benefit from the relationship it is business as usual. It was hard to tell who the real gold diggers were in this story as many of the characters only associate with Horace Tabor as long as the money flows towards them. As soon as he falls on hard times they all desert him with only a few remembering his kindness when they were in financial difficulty themselves.

Baby Doe really comes to life in the pages of this story. Actual excerpts from her diaries remind you that she was a real person. But it is the story that Rosenberg weaves around her that endears Baby Doe to the reader. You feel her struggles and her triumphant. I never really saw her as a gold digger though. Yes, she wanted a good match in marriage as that was the only option open to her if she wanted to get out of poverty. But she was also willing to do whatever it took to make sure her marriage was a success. Even if that meant actually digging for gold. When I think of a gold digger (the derogatory term) I think of a woman who wants the splendid lavished on her without any work on her part.

I can understand why she was snubbed. Divorce was so rare and held such a horrible connotation. Though with all the philandering men, you have to wonder if it wasn't jealousy on women's part that had them snubbing the divorcee.

If you are like me and don't think you would like a Wild West story, you should know that there is so much more to this story. It is definitely a story of a strong woman. The things Baby Doe had to overcome during a time when a woman was little more than a man's arm dressing is remarkable. Even in today's time, she would be a strong woman with her "do whatever it takes" attitude.

The ending was a bit abrupt because I had so many questions about what came of Baby Doe and her two daughters. Rosenberg (or the publishers) must have known that many readers would feel the same way as there is a note right after the end stating that there was a sequel planned for next year. With this knowledge, I felt that it was a natural place to end this chapter in Baby Doe's life. And since she is a real person, I can probably find a least some answers to my questions just by reading her Wikipedia page if I don't want to wait until next year.

Buy Gold Digger: The Remarkable Baby Doe Tabor at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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