All She Left Behind is a historical novel written about real people who lived in Oregon in the 1870’s. It tells the story of a young woman who wanted to be a doctor, but struggled with reading and writing. It has a more realistic tenor to it than just a novel based on history. That said, it tells a bittersweet, melancholy story of the stories of a woman forced to deal with a husband and son bound by addiction. Even after her husband divorced her, the shame of that marriage and his behavior followed her throughout her life despite the joys and successes she achieved. Although the story is well written, I personally prefer more optimistic stories. But the author provides historic evidence in the author’s notes of the story, so the story stays true to the facts of this woman’s life.