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Remember the Ladies by Gina L. Mulligan

By 06:35:00 , ,

Firstly: I admit to requesting this book based on my first impression of the cover: it is beautiful, and I'm not denying it.

Secondly: This book surprised me so many times, and in so many ways.

Thirdly: Go read it. It is delightful.

Orphaned at a young age, Amelia spends her formative years in an orphanage. After being emancipated at 18, she soon ends up moving to Washington, D.C., determined to become a female lobbyist. Eventually, she gets hired by the National Women's Suffrage Association, and towards the end of the 19th century, starts lobbying for the constitutional amendment that would grant women the right to vote.

Remember the Ladies is a debut novel of astonishing historical detail, which also provides us with a witty, resourceful female protagonist trying to make it in a man's world, The first half of the book is very much centred on Amelia, from the moment she is orphaned, to her entrance to the political game, It made me feel really close to Amelia, and I felt I could understand her decisions very well. The second half offers us another perspective on the politics and what goes on behind the scenes, as some of the chapters are written from the perspective of Senator Edward Stillman.

The characters are really well-rounded and they all have their own motivations, so I had some pretty strong feelings about them. I was really cheering Amelia on during the novel, and I just found her story very moving and thought-provoking. I have to reiterate that the amount of historical research is very obvious in this novel, and I really did feel transported to 19th century America. Political content isn't something I look for in a novel, but I'm really glad I gave this one a chance. It really did surprise me a number of times, I couldn't believe how quickly I got attached to Amelia, and how sympathetic I was towards Stillman. I was also really surprised at how invested in the story I was - I'm not entirely sure why, but it just kept surprising me. I'd find myself thinking about this book when I was doing something else. It's a book that's going to stay with me, for quite a while.

My takeaway from Remember the Ladies:
I understood my lack of knowledge on the Suffragette movement and on women's rights in the early days, and I feel very strongly that this is something I should read more about, just because I'm a woman, and a human being, and because I support feminism, and think we do need it even in the 21st century.
There's also a bit of advice provided by a Mrs. Stockett in the book that I felt I should maybe tattoo on my forehead or something: "Just take a deep breath and jump in." It's the best piece of advise I've received in a while.

Currently, Remember the Ladies is set to be published on May 18th by Five Star Publishing.

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