Based on the extraordinary life of Mary Breckinridge, Mary on Horseback is an easy-to-read biography that will be enjoyed both by adults and children alike. My older three children have had this nonfiction work read to them. My son enjoyed the 'adventure of the book,' and my daughters appreciated the compassion and love Mary bestowed on the people she served. The book depicts three daring incidents that showcase Mary's tender relationship with the people she served. At the end, a brief biography covering Mary's life is included. These few pages reveal that Mary left a life of luxury to serve in one of the poorest regions. It is an amazing example of self-sacrifice and service.
It was during my second read through that I realized that these stories possibly took place near my grandmother's family home around the same time as she was born. Then and there, I rushed to the computer to research Frontier Nursing Service, the ministry Mary began. Turns out the headquarters for FNS is located within the same Appalachian Mountain region, but over a hundred miles from Nanny's home place. Despite the distance, this book portrays an authentic Appalachian Mountain culture of the early 1900's that would have been common to both the people served by Mary and my ancestors. For me and my family, the book offers us not only a good historical read, but a closer look at a piece of our heritage.