There are women throughout Canada’s history who when faced with a locked door, have looked for a key—or a battering ram. Award-winning writer Karin Wells tells the stories of women like the fierce and iconoclastic Mina Benson Hubbard, who finished the mission to map northern Labrador that had killed her explorer husband, and Vera Peters, MD, who revolutionized treatments for Hodgkins lymphoma and breast cancer. Or the painter Paraskeva Clark, child of the Bolshevik Revolution, who rattled staid Toronto when she took Norman Bethune as a lover and spoke out for art as a tool of social change. And have you heard of Charlotte Small, a Métis woman who canoed and trekked 42,000 km—more than three times further than the American explorers Lewis and Clark—and had five babies along the way?
Some were outrageous, some were unassuming, most were not polite, but they all ignored the voices that said women could not paddle a canoe, program a computer, understand the universe, or cure a disease. They lived big lives—often at great cost—and they made a difference.
“The book makes fascinating reading, not least of all because Wells writes so well… Like her documentaries, her book is incredibly well researched and her prose sings, bringing these mostly forgotten women to life.”