Today I am delighted on the blog tour for this book and have a review. Many thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of this tour.
Blurb: 1914. Two sisters on opposing sides of the Suffragette movement. One, an up-and-coming prison warden responsible for overseeing the force-feeding of hunger strikers. The other, swept up in the deeds of the cause. A poignant look at the struggle from both viewpoints. Making the hardest decisions in life takes astonishing courage. Making a stand for justice. Realising that following your heart can mean the loss of your freedom.
My Review: Clara and Nancy are sisters. They’ve not had an easy life, aside from the obvious lack of money there have been other things they’ve had to deal with at a realitively young age. These have made Clara, the eldest, want to defy convention and not marry but have a career instead. She has a good job with the possibility of promotion in the future. Her sister is not doing as well, she’s quiet and timid and doesn’t know what to do with her life, or it seems, how to do anything. Clara decides Nancy needs a job and gets her an interview at the prison where she works. Once there Nancy meets some of the suffragettes that Clara works with and that’s when everything starts to change for both sisters.
I hate spoilers in book reviews but this book is so good that I just want to tell everyone what happened and how it ends, because how it ends is not what youd expect from the beginning. It’s a brilliantly told story of two sisters on separate sides of the same cause. The Suffragette movement affects them both differently but also has life-changing consequences for them too. We see how the suffragettes ideas and deeds impact the sisters and how they react to them. It’s actually really tricky to review this without accidentally giving something away.
I really enjoyed this book, it was one of those quietly engrossing reads where I’d pick it up after work and then a couple of hours later have read half of it and look up, momentarily confused by where I was. The characters were entirely relatable even though I’ve never been in any of the circumstances they found themselves in. The descriptions and sense of place were spot on too. I’ve visited a prison through volunteering I’ve done and the sound the doors and locks make was perfectly described as was the feeling you get when a door shuts behind you, even though you know you can leave shortly. There was a suffragette march in the book and there were a lot of people and, as can happen, the character there got caught up in it and squashed between people as opposing sides clashed. Again, I’ve never been in that situation either but I could hear all the noises and feel the fear of being crushed and potentially injured or even trampled on if I fell over. There’s so much drama in the story because of the suffragette connection, blowing up of post boxes for example, but at the same time it’s a realatively calm read. I can’t explain that but it is.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone, whether you have a previous interest in the suffragettes or not. At it’s heart this book is about what can happen to someone when they discover a world outside their own and what impact their decisions can have on them and others and it’s a fascinating read.
About the author:
A former photojournalist, Jon Walter is the acclaimed author of Close to the Wind and My Name Is Not Friday. He was inspired to write NEVERTHELESS, SHE PERSISTED after reading Sylvia Pankhurst’s biography and being gripped by one question: when is it right to break the rules? Jon Walter is available for interview and write features on a variety of themes, including: being an advocate of protest; his personal experience of being arrested; and writing beyond his own experience.