Nightingale is an eloquent and inspiring tribute to the life and legacy of Elisabeth Mannering Congdon, the extraordinary woman who was so much more than the last day of her life. Entrusted with the burdens and joys of memory Elisabeth’s eldest granddaughter, Suzanne Congdon LeRoy, combines lived experience with meticulous historical research as she courageously reveals a family legacy filled with inconceivable loss, love, and perseverance. Elisabeth Congdon emerges not as heiress or victim but as the messenger of spring and the key to her granddaughter’s survival. Elisabeth’s early efforts to nurture a foundation of hope, optimism, and the power of possibility lead Suzanne to advanced education, a remarkable nursing career and the discovery of the ineffable relationship between healing oneself, service to others, and the connection to the spirit and beauty of the earth that makes her whole again. Nightingale is a book of rare power, beauty and hope. All proceeds, after taxes, are used to support health and human rights initiatives that benefit women and girls with an emphasis on education, reproductive health, and violence prevention.
Advance Praise for Nightingale
“This powerful memoir tells the story of a young girl whose beloved grandmother provided security in the midst of an otherwise unpredictable and sometimes violent family. Many children in such circumstances would lose hope, but the author transformed her anxiety into passion for making the world a safer place for children and vulnerable adults. The book also provides a rich source of information for those interested in the history of notable Minnesota families. The writing is compelling, and the story is worth reading and taking to heart.”