Blush, by Shirley Hershey Showalter

Showalter grew up with a love of the land and an appreciation for the Mennonite faith in which she was reared, but there was no way she could be kept down on the farm. Aspirations for the “glittering world” and a love for literature and writing led her eventually to become a college professor, college president and foundation executive. In this memoir of her childhood she weaves together stories of family tension involving her father and grandfather over inheritance, of her mother’s unfulfilled ambitions as a writer, of her conflicts with the conservative boundaries of her church, and of the rewards of teaching. The reader might guess from Showalter’s teenage confrontation with her stern bishop that she would go far in life. Yet she has never drifted away from the faith and family that nurtured her, even while living out her ambitions as a scholar, leader and writer.