“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 details a family legacy filled with inconceivable loss, love, and perseverance. Elisabeth Congdon emerges as the key to her granddaughter’s survival and the messenger of spring. Her 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.
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About the Author
Suzanne Congdon LeRoy has been a nurse practitioner for over 30 years with specialty certifications in Women's Health, Family Practice, and advanced practice HIV/AIDS. She earned a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in Nursing at the University of Minnesota, and she completed post-graduate and executive education at the University of St. Thomas and Harvard Kennedy School. Suzanne is a member of the Junior League of Minneapolis, the Woman's Club of Minneapolis, and Youthlink Foundation Builders. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, and adventure travel. “Nightingale” is her first book.100% of 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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nightingale: A Memoir of Murder, Madness, and the Messenger of Spring based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Exceptional and inspiring. This is an extremely well-written book. I finished it in one day, and like the other reviewers, I couldn't put it down after I started reading it. The story starts with vivid memories of the author's grandmother, Elisabeth Mannering Congdon, highlighting times of love and security amidst often frightening and tumultuous times with the author's own parents. The author then takes us through her memories surrounding her grandmother's horrific murders, but reminds us that her grandmother is not just a victim but a heroine. Ms. LeRoy beautifully captures her grandmother's extraordinary accomplishments as a well-educated young woman, as a nurse and as a humanitarian devoting her life to her family and to community service, in times when women were not easily recognized for their intelligence and hard work. Ms. Congdon leaves a dynamic legacy, and it is easy to see why Ms. LeRoy wrote this wonderful tribute to her grandmother highlighting the effects of her love and protection. It is especially moving to see the author, Ms. LeRoy, follow in her grandmother's footsteps to earn a Ph.D. in Nursing, and also live her life with an independent spirit. The scenes of Ms. LeRoy climbing Kilimanjaro and hiking through Bhutan are beautifully written. This story is a perfect example of what a difference just one supportive and caring person can make in a child's life. A must-read for anyone interested in a story of hope and optimism in the midst of tragedy.
A very compelling look inside the life of Elisabeth Congdon. She was so much more than the day she died to quote her granddaughter.
I have been fascinated with Glensheen and the city of Duluth since I first toured it as a young girl. I have literally barely been able to put this book down for 2 days. I was hooked. In many ways, it reminded me of my relationship with my own mother and grandmother. Great, great read.
I wonderful book for book club. Told from the viewpoint of the author (Suzanne Congdon LeRoy), while focusing on her remarkable grandmother, Elisabeth Mannering Congdon. In the years before Elisabeth Congdon was murdered, she infused Suzanne with love, self-worth, strength, and giving to others. This book was hard to put down, as I wondered what would happen next in this family’s web of dysfunction, crime, hurt, and denial. In Suzanne's words, I found lessons on living through tragedy, and turning the past into a life well lived for ourselves and for others. Through the Epilogue, I learned the extraordinary history of Elisabeth Congdon and her forbearers. The strength, courage, humanity, and love of Elisabeth Mannering Congdon, lives on through her granddaughter, Suzanne Congdon Leroy.
Once I started reading this book, I was unable to put it down. It is a well written chronicle of a life filled with joy, terror, sadness, hope and an entire host of emotions. Written by the eldest granddaughter of Elisabeth Mannering Congdon of Minnesota, it is not only her memoir, but a tribute to an exceptional grandmother. There is a wonderful historical aspect to this book, along with a beautifully written text filled with interesting fact and experiences, some terrifying and many delightful. Beautifully written, I can highly recommend this as an example of a well thought out and riveting read filled with hope and optimism.