Reckless : The Outrageous Lives of Nine Kick-Ass Women by Gloria Mattioni
Celebrating Women's History Month at the VCU Libraries
Reviewed by Delmy Hernandez, member of Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas
This book is exactly what the title says it is: nine incredible stories about extraordinary women. These aren’t your everyday women who go to work and live life day by day. These women live every day as if it were their last. They go to the extreme and do the unthinkable.
Take Libby Riddles. For many of us, going outside in the cold is a hassle (I know it is for me). For her, it is part of her job. She is a sled dog champion and it is not as easy as telling dogs to mush. Although she is covered in layers upon layers of clothes, she can still feel the freezing whip of the Alaskan wind. Although she competes with many big burly men, it was she who toughed it out and won the Iditarod Sled Dog Race after so many years of male victories. She even treats her dogs with an extra touch of care. It took determination and courage to get to where she is today.
Can you imagine living in a tree? For two years? That is exactly what Julia Butterfly Hill did, another woman who caught my attention and stood out from the rest. Because so many redwoods were being cut down in California to make way for development, there eventually weren’t enough trees to stop an enormous mudslide that cut through a neighborhood. This occurred because the redwoods weren’t there to catch any of the mud. Just a few days later permission was given for another set of redwoods to be cut down. Julia felt that she needed to do something. After looking for support and ways to help, she decided to climb one of the oldest redwoods, 180 feet tall, in protest. Not only would she stay there, but she would live there. She refused to climb down until the life of the redwood, named Luna, would be spared. She encountered much conflict and didn’t receive very much support. She overcame obstacles such as having to shower and use the bathroom at such a high altitude and braving strong winds and the cold in order to show what she believed in. These are only two out of nine amazing women who prove that you have only one life to live!