This historical fiction novel about an independant woman in 1913 London who inadvertently gets involved with the suffragist movement was the hidden gem in my reading year so far. I simply loved this novel with its strong yet vulnerable heroine and its subject of women’s rights. L. Davis Munro captured the exciting but dangerous struggle women endured to be heard and respected in the early 1900. With believable characters, a good plot and a stirring time in history, this novel was a thrilling and thought-provoking read.
Emmy Nation is a smart and determined woman. She manages to avoid an arranged marriage and begins working for the police force, typing reports. When she is asked to go undercover and spy on the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) she readily agrees since the increase in pay will satisfy her hunger pains and replace her hole-riddled boots. What Emmy was unprepared for was the effect the women and their movement would have on her and her conflicting feelings for the police officer Colin Thomas who watched her back as she spied.
Emmy experiences first-hand the prejudices and intolerances of society toward these women who are now using militant measures to get the government’s attention. I had heard of force-feedings of the women in jail who refused to eat as a protest but I did not know how utterly brutal, invasive and painful the process was. We feel for these women who fought at great cost so that all women could be respected. I devoured this novel as I raced to see how it would all end.
Although the book ends with a victorious scene, there are loose threads that strongly hint of a sequel. I am looking forward to seeing how Emmy continues in her suffragist activities and handles the compromised friendship with Colin. I can easily see this as a series for Emmy Nation is a spunky heroine worthy of the task.