Review by juliamenez -- Mistress Suffragette

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Latest Review: Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes

Review by juliamenez -- Mistress Suffragette

Post by juliamenez » 06 Oct 2018, 12:33

[Following is a volunteer review of "Mistress Suffragette" by Diana Forbes.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Mistress Suffragette by Diana Forbes is a memoir-style historical fiction novel. The story follows Penelope Stanton, a young woman who struggles with the pressure to marry well to help support her family. The Panic of 1893 has taken its toll on the Stanton family’s business and threatens the privileged lifestyle that Penelope’s family has thus far enjoyed.

Hoping to find eligible husbands for her daughters, Mrs. Stanton brings Penelope and Lydia to a ball. Penelope attracts the attention of the handsome and wealthy Mr. Daggers, who inappropriately kisses Penelope. After the ball, Mr. and Mrs. Daggers offer Penelope a position to work for them in New York. Too ashamed to admit Mr. Daggers’ actions and unable to convince her parents to let her stay in Newport, Penelope moves to Boston and stumbles into helping with the women’s rights movement.

I enjoyed reading this book. The writing style was easy to follow, and some readers may be able to finish the book in one or two sittings. Additionally, I did not have any trouble discerning when a particular character was speaking or when there was a change in setting. The details of 19th century Boston, New York, and Newport are captivating, and it is apparent that the author heavily researched the historical events she depicts in the story.

The characters in the story are well-written and realistic. Many readers will be able to relate to Penelope Stanton’s internal conflicts; she seeks independence and purpose while trying to appease societal expectations and maintain her femininity. Additionally, Penelope is attracted to Mr. Daggers but has a difficult time interpreting his actions. As the story progresses, Penelope grows more confident, and she uses her intelligence and resourcefulness to help her family. The villainous Mr. Daggers is also incredibly represented, as he uses classic manipulation techniques to prey upon naïve teenage girls like Penelope. This villain is so realistic because nearly all readers can recall an example of someone who uses the same kinds of emotional manipulation, violence, or power imbalance to take advantage of helpless people.

I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. This story flows naturally and contains plenty of exciting plot development. The characters are realistic, and their relationships with each other are relatable. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and coming of age stories. Additionally, I recommend this book to young women and anyone looking for inspiration to find their own voice. However, I would not recommend this book to anyone looking for a traditional romance novel. While the title suggests that this book may be a romance, the sexual scenes in the story serve more as social commentary rather than as an indulgence.

Mistress Suffragette
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Post by Monie_raey » 11 Oct 2018, 03:57

It's a pity that we have people like Mr Daggers. Is that all the book is about though? The relationship between with Pene and Daggers and her maturing to being a better person? Oh, thanks for the review. I like how you put it together😊

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Post by serendipity 27 » 15 Oct 2018, 10:08

I haven't read any historical fiction lately, so this seems like a good place to start. I like that you mentioned that even though this is categorized as a romance book it is more about a young woman coming into her own independence. Great review! :D
Give me the courage to get through this week...or at least a big bar of chocolate :D

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Post by topdan30 » 15 Oct 2018, 13:07

I loove realistic characters as they are easy to flow with. Thanks foir the review.

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Post by Kajori50 » 16 Oct 2018, 08:06

I love to read historical fiction as well as romance. Also, as an added bonus this book tells the story of a young woman attaining her independence.

Thank you for the great review.

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Post by Vck12 » 16 Oct 2018, 10:59

This sounds like a good choice in the historical fiction genre (one of my favorites!). I love learning history through narrative and it's nice to hear that this author did her research. Thank you for your thorough review!

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Post by imjaneturner » 07 Dec 2018, 13:55

I enjoyed this review. I appreciate your insight into Mr. Daggers and what makes him a convincing villain. Even just reading your review, I'm already rooting for Penelope. Adding this one to the bookshelf!

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