December’s Book of the Month feature is a poignant memoir by one of the first female recruits to serve in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. As a member of our Book of the Month Club you are eligible to win a copy of this book, winner to be drawn at midnight on December 31, 2020.
As a young girl who once dreamed about joining the RCMP, this important book was surely an eye opener to me, and a fresh reminder to be careful what you wish for.
Ms. Adams and the inaugural troop of female recruits were true pioneers and as such faced many hardships of misogyny, discrimination, outright hostility and even physical assault by their male RCMP peers and superior officers. Many women, even in today’s working world, will be able to relate to their dilemma of wanting to succeed without making waves, yet needing to speak out against harassment inflicted upon them. Often their only recourse was to work twice as hard to prove themselves, while putting at risk their self-esteem and adverse effects on family life.
Troop 17 was an eclectic mixture of girls from various backgrounds, levels of education, skill sets, sizes, ages, marital status, work experiences, personalities and ambitions. Our common denominators were that we were all white females and we were all Canadians.-Karen L. Adams
This is also a story about the challenging career of being a police officer, Adams provides many interesting anecdotes about her tours of duty in remote communities, her time working undercover in drug enforcement, and eventually becoming an instructor of cadets and training the trainers. She contributed to identifying and implementing internal RCMP policies for female officers, not previously considered by the all-male force, such as light duty for pregnant officers and maternity leave policies.
What the public cannot comprehend, unless they too have a police officer in the immediate family, is the toll taken on those who serve and protect us. Investigating fatal accidents, suicides, and horrendous crimes is not for the fainthearted. Many officers of both genders suffer from PTSD and it affects their spouses and children, sometimes fracturing their family units. Adams’s own family story provides an example of the risks and the costs of police work.
Why We Love This Book
Adams’s book is a candid recounting of the ambitions she had when she became one of the first female RCMP officers. She reveals her disappointments of being passed over for promotions, and yet gives full credit for the support of a few male colleagues and supervisors who helped rather than hindered her throughout her career.
Sadly, today’s female RCMP officers still are, and will continue to suffer some of the very unresolved biases and issues that Adams did. However, these women should be thankful to those who have proceeded them, like Adams and many others, for putting the first few of many cracks needed in the glass ceiling of the RCMP. More power to them!
About the Author
Karen L. Adams has written an inspirational memoir of her 28-year journey, from aspirations of becoming one of the first female officers (Troop 17 in 1974) within the fabled Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to overcoming the harsh realities of discrimination, injustice and personal violation.
Visit Karen Adams’s website at: http://www.karenladams.com
WOMAN IN SCARLET by Karen L. Adams
Published by Karen L. Adams, 2018
Click here to buy the book on Amazon (e-book and softcover editions available)
Want a chance to win a free book written by a Canadian author? Join our Free Book of the Month Club! Every month we review a book by a Canadian author and give it away to one of our email subscribers. Our goal is to share the work of other Canadian authors and help writers find other writers. Click the button below to join now.
Marnie Somers, HF Co-author & Publisher
Marnie Sluman Somers was born in Toronto, she lived for ten years in Calgary, before returning to Toronto for public and high school. She moved to Winnipeg at twenty and has lived in rural Manitoba ever since. Marnie had a long career working in both the private and public sectors, during which she honed her writing skills. She became a full-time freelance writer in 1997 creating news releases, magazine feature articles, and marketing content. She currently lives on an acreage near Carberry, Manitoba with her partner, Wilf.
Banner Photo of RCMP marching by Nic Amaya