An excellent, thought-provoking and ultimately heartwarming read, this is a work of historical fiction about women and the vote. I had enjoyed one of Evans’ previous novels, Crooked Heart, so I already knew that she has a brilliant way with words and is skilled at portraying authentic historical characters and settings.
Old Baggage follows Mattie, a former militant suffragette who in 1928 is not giving up the fight. This is the year that universal suffrage laws will be enacted in the UK. Mattie is an outspoken, no-nonsense character who is inspired to start a group for girls to learn practical skills in the context of female independence and to form political opinions. She lives with her long-time friend, fellow suffragette The Flea, who is quiet and logical – Mattie’s opposite. The story is about the ups and downs of their friendship and also the girls whom Mattie is trying to shape into the next generation of women, who unlike previous generations will have equal voting rights to men.
I enjoyed everything about this book and was completely absorbed in the memorable characters and the issues they faced. I read most of it in one day, while on the train. Lissa Evans really brought the world of these early feminists to life. Highly recommended.
First published in 2018.
6 thoughts on “Review of ‘Old Baggage’ by Lissa Evans”
This sounds really interesting! Thanks for intro-ing me to this book, it definitely sounds like one to look into! 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
I liked this one a lot – more than I expected to, actually! I found it for £1 in a charity shop and thought I would try it.
Love the historical context in this one. It actually surprises me how recent some places in the world had given equal voting votes for men and women too. Great review!
I know – and it’s less than 100 years in the UK since all women were allowed the vote!
There have been a lot of suffragette-related books lately because last year was the centenary of women over 30 / property holders gaining the vote.
Thank you! 😀
I’ve seen the book cover before and was enticed but I had forgotten to put in on my tbr list and I forgot all about it. Your great review has reminded me though and you’ve definitely made me want to read this! Sounds really interesting 🙂 🙂
It’s really worth the read! I hope you like it when you get around to reading 🙂