Interactive Historical Fiction e-books

Hail Columbia by Patricia Beatty

Hail cover beebliome

Astoria, Oregon, in 1893, believed that women should be subdued and submissive. Understandably, therefore, the arrival of Columbia Baines proved upsetting. In a wonderful, fast-paced story, Louisa Baines, thirteen years old, tells what happened the year her aunt came to visit her sedate family and how she quickly succeeded in turning their lived upside down. 

As soon as Aunt Columbia demonstrated that she could stop the ever-present rain with a snap of her fingers, Louisa knew she was a person to be reckoned with. Then came a number of surprising revelations. Among other things, Aunt Columbia admitted that she was an active suffragette, accustomed to chaining herself to city hall entrances is her cause needed attention. 

Taking her niece in tow, Columbia embarked on one cause after another right in Astoria. There were Finns and Chinese to be helped, corrupt politicians to be battled. By the end of her stay, Louisa knew that the town would need forget Columbia Baines, and neither will the reader. She is a most memorable character to appear in many a year. 

This story is set in Oregon in 1893. Aunt Columbia Baines arrives at the home of her brother for a year long rest and soon she has the household and then the entire town turned upside-down. First of all, she has in tow two children, whom she calls the Pettigrews. Her brother’s family did not know that she had married and had children and was now a widow but shockingly, she kept her maiden name! Worse, Columbia Baines is one of those suffragettes and she actually knows and corresponds with the famous women in the movement: Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stoner, and Victoria Woodhull Martin. Aunt Columbia takes on causes like treatment of the Finns, the Chinese, and then tackles ridding the town of their mob-type district. Narrated by her niece, Louisa Baines, this amusing story is fast-paced and entertaining.
— Goodreads