I just finished this book after receiving it as a birthday present.
We've all heard of Grandma Gatewood, but the real human being behind the legend is revealed in this book. For most of her life, she was a battered wife, which she kept secret. She spent most of her days living in poverty as well. She also was, from this account, an extraordinary human being.
The author had considerable input from Emma Gatewood's surviving children, who carefully kept her diaries, letters, newspaper clippings and photographs.
Most of the book describes her first AT thru-hike (she completed the trail three times, the third as section hikes) with flashbacks to her earlier life. Obviously the AT back then (1955) was a totally different experience from what it is now. It's a fascinating story that should go on the Christmas gift list for any hiker!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey