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The Middle Button

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  23 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Heroine Maggie in 1880s North Carolina is determined to become a doctor but must first obtain family support and learn to control her temper.
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published 1941 by Doubleday, Doran & Co.
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This book was egregiously racist both explicitly and implicitly. I could tell you that it was the story of a young girl and her quest to become a doctor in the late 1880s, but that's not enough. It's also the story of how black people are dirty, stupid, worthless, lazy, scary, and naturally only fit to wait on the white folks. This sentiment lies under the entire book, and is verbalized numerous times by various characters. I kept putting it down and fuming. Had it not been a library book, and a ...more
Kathryn Worth's four novels are among my favorites, and this is particularly unusual in that the heroine is an aspiring doctor in the 19th century. Her uncle promises to help pay for her training if Maggie can learn to govern her temper and raise half of the necessary funds herself. That is indeed hard to do but equally difficult is for a young woman to earn money in this era. In addition, there is an appealing young man for Maggie to consider: can she include him in her future plans without giv ...more
This was one of my mother's books when she was young, and I read it over and over. It's a little harsh in spots, which I imagine was a sign of the times during which it was written, but it's a great story and very empowering for girls.
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From NCpedia:

Kathryn Worth, writer, was born at the family summer cottage at Wrightsville Beach, the youngest of three children of James Spencer (1869–1900) and Josephine McBryde Worth. Her brother was David Gaston Worth II, her sister Frances McBryde Worth. The Worths were English Quakers who went to North Carolina in 1771 from Nantucket, Mass. The McBrydes moved into the Laurinburg area about 17
More about Kathryn Worth...
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