The Women’s March
A Novel of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession
by Jennifer Chiaverini
I must confess that I did not know nearly as much as I thought I did about the movement that led to the (eventual) right for women to vote in the United States. I was aware of those who started the movement both the U.S. and England but I was familiar with only one of the three women featured in this novel.
The three are Alice Paul, Ida Wells and Maud Malone. Each has her life story told against the vivid backdrop of the politics of the day and their individual histories.
Alice Paul was raised as a Quaker; Ida Wells knew much about slavery, and Maud Malone was an Irish American librarian. What led each of these women to fight so hard for something that many now take for granted? Jennifer Chiaverini helps readers to understand why they worked persistently for what they believed in.
These three are not the only ones who appear in the book. To name just two others, there are Jane Addams and Ava Vanderbilt.
The history that Alice, Ida and Maud lived through comes to life in this novel. I was especially struck by all that Ida Wells endured including the impact of yellow fever on her life, the lynchings of people that she knew and much more.
Around these women are the men, many of whom wanted to thwart votes for women. They included President Wilson. Will the women succeed in organizing a massive march for the day before his inaugural? Read this one to find out.
I found The Women’s March to be among my very favorite books by this author. I learned a lot but did not feel that I was being lectured to.
This historical fiction should be on reading lists for high school students and up. It would make a superb book club selection.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.