It’s 1928 and, in Britain, women of property now have the vote thanks to brave and tireless women like Mattie Simpkin. Even so, Mattie stays in contact with her suffragette sisters, continues to lecture on her experiences and for the right of all women to vote. She also carries a small club of polished ash in her handbag and lives in a charming old house called the Mousehole with her friend and assistant Florrie Lee, known as The Flea. When they engage a sixteen-year-old housemaid named Ida, Mattie begins to see just how limited ordinary young women of the day actually are. With Ida as the first member and reluctant recruit, Mattie begins a club for girls and young women – outdoor activities, exercise, sleuthing games, debate and adventures. Mattie believes in living life with brio, and it all goes swimmingly, as they say. Until, that is, Mattie, always a confident woman, becomes a bit over-involved, puts a foot wrong, steps in something smelly, and it all goes to hell. But keep your eye on the wickedly intelligent Miss Simpkin. This good woman has a sure instinct for steering the right course, and she will find her way.
Tell you what. I think I was in the mood for (or maybe in need of) a case of the Brits. Steadying, bracing, what is it? Don’t know about you, but I can only go so long without ‘em, and Ms. Evans book is so very, very……well, it’s as British as a cup of tea and a biscuit. Characters, time and place, humor – loved all of it, and there’s an interesting political timeliness as well. Topping, spot on, jolly good, righty-o and all that. This one will put you right as rain.
Available now, so shop your local indie bookstore.
Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided to me by HarperCollins Publishers / Harper Perennial via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank the publisher, the author and NetGalley for providing me this opportunity. All opinions expressed herein are my own.