Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811 – July 1, 1896), of Cincinnati, was the most famous female American author of her age, and is said to have touched off the American Civil War with her novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), awakening the whole world to the harsh conditions of slavery. She wrote 30 other successful books depicting life in early America, plus collections of well written articles and travellogues, poems, hymns, and speeches on social issues. Harriet's father and all 7 of her brothers were ministers, her 5 sisters teachers and/or social activists, a whole family concerned with improving society. Her father was the outspoken Calvinist preacher Lyman Beecher, a Calvinist minister who became one of the best-known evangelists of his age. Her younger brother, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, was one of the most famous orators of his day and with Harriet, was very active in the Underground Railroad, for which both were savagely attacked by the slave holding aristocracy. After the War, Harriet and her husband Calvin Stowe, a theology professor, and Henry all moved to north-east Florida to establish schools and churches to help educate the free negros who had fled there.
In this book we see, through colorful letters written to family, friends, and other famous personages throughout her life, a very intimate portrait of a brilliantly emotional girl's inner life, a wife and mother's struggle raising 7 children at near poverty, her rise to fame and fortune, her and family's travels through Europe where they were feted by royalty, her depiction of the devastating sadness at losing 3 of her children early in their lives, her tortuous musings as to why God allows suffering, slavery and injustice, and her eventual reconciliation with God's grace and her ultimate devotion to Christ. — Summary by Michele Fry, Soloist.