Selena | Beauty's Library
The Accidental Suffragist Review
I saw the title and “historical fiction” and I just knew I wanted to read this one.
It's 1912, and protagonist Helen Fox is a factory worker living in New York's tenements. When tragedy strikes in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, Helen is seduced by the Suffragist cause and is soon immersed, working alongside famous activists.
As Helen's involvement with the cause deepens, she encounters myriad sources of tension that test her perseverance: estrangement from her husband, who is blindsided by his wife's sudden activism; ostracization by neighbors; unease at working side by side with wealthier suffragettes; and worry about her children as she leaves them to picket the White House in Washington.
The narrative spans World War One and concludes with the triumph of 1919. In a time when the obstacles for women, from any background, were insurmountable, Helen discovers her voice as an independent woman and dreams of equality in a male-dominated society.
I received a copy of The Accidental Suffragist in exchange for an honest review through Book Publicity Services who help promote indie books and authors. Thank you so much! I really enjoyed this one.
Going into this, I knew very little about the women’s suffrage movement. I knew the basics, but none of the details. That didn’t deter me from wanting to read this! And this did not disappoint!
Over the past year or so, I’ve gained a love for historical fiction. When I was still in school, I never enjoyed my history classes. I could never remember the details or memorize the dates. I loathed having to attend those classes. It wasn’t until I ended picking up my first historical fiction book for a book club I joined after finishing college that I realized I actually enjoyed the idea of them. That first book was The Island of Sea Women, which I was very wary of reading but decided it didn’t hurt to try. I absolutely loved that book. I learned so much about a different part of World War II I wasn’t initially aware of. I discovered a new society I’d never heard of before. And I just loved the story that encompassed it.
That one book opened me up to want to read more historical fiction books. I loved being able to learn more about the world’s history in an entertaining way. I always finish a historical fiction book learning something new. So when I was asked if I’d be interested in reading this, I didn’t even hesitate. I saw the title and “historical fiction” and I just knew I wanted to read this one. I didn’t even need to read the synopsis.
I saw the title and “historical fiction” and I just knew I wanted to read this one. I didn’t even need to read the synopsis.
And I finished this story learning something new! I learned much more than I expected too with this one. We follow a mother, Helen who is part of the working class in the year 1912. She loses her oldest daughter in a factory fire and is approached by the leader of a women’s suffrage group with an opportunity to have Helen join and help make sure this never happens again. The group offers to hire Helen to become a full-time suffragist. Helen decides to take the chance and then battles with her husband throughout the book as she discovers her passion to help fight for the women’s vote.
This flowed so well! It’s a relatively quick read too! Being only about 240 pages. Yet it’s filled with such a well-written story. I learned so much. And I never felt like I was learning, I was just reading a fictional story. Not to mention, a majority of the events are based on actual events.
I did a quick little search after finishing, and the major events within these pages were true events. I also found some of the women in the book were based on real women and even found some quotes were pulled from what they actually said in real life. Discovering this makes me love this book so much more! I love knowing that this fictional story holds so much truth.
I love knowing that this fictional story holds so much truth.
I will say the only part I didn’t love was the ending. It felt very abrupt for me. Especially the epilogue, which came across as more of a bullet list of what happened after the story for the suffragists and the women’s right to vote. I wish this part would have read more like the rest of the book had. Even it was just narrated in a summarized fashion. The ending just fell a bit flat for this beautiful story.
I think anyone who’s a fan of historical fiction and especially politic-based fiction will enjoy this one! I enjoyed this so much more than I expected.