Saturday, 18 November 2017

5* BOOK REVIEW | 'Things a Bright Girl Can Do' by Sally Nicholls

Hey guys, and happy Saturday! Today I am very excited to share with you a review of one of the best and most important books I have read this year. I haven't read a historical novel in a really long time, however this one gripped my imagination and taught me so much. 

Of course, I am talking about Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls! 

I read this book absolutely months ago but I have only had the chance to publish this review... I know, I'm tutting at myself too... 

I was kindly sent Things a Bright Girl Can Do by the lovely people at Andersen Press in exchange for an honest review :)

Things a Bright Girl Can Do is a book about politics, class, feminism and the fierce determination of those who refused to be sidelined from society. The story follows three girls from three completely different backgrounds, and different dreams for their futures, yet with one main goal: to stop their voices from being silenced any longer. However, when Britain enters into War with Germany, their entire world is turned on its head, and the future of the Suffragette movement appears uncertain.

Intrigued? Check out the blurb here...


Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.

Evelyn is seventeen, and though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university. Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the Suffragettes, and vows to pay the ultimate price for women's freedom.

May is fifteen, and already sworn to the cause, though she and her fellow Suffragists refuse violence. When she meets Nell, a girl who's grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women have their place.


But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could believe. As war looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?

I LOVED THIS BOOK. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Everything you could possibly want as a feminist is in this book: a wonderful in-depth, heartfelt exploration of what life was like for women of all classes in the early 20th century, how the First World War impacted on this fight for equal rights, and also how men's lives were impacted by the tremendous pressure to drop their lives and their families and go and fight. 

This book made social history totally palatable and so interesting to read about. I knew bits and bobs about the Suffragettes and the First World War, but Nicholls takes us right into the heart of the action and immerses us completely in the lives of these three extraordinary women.

I loved the characters in this book. Evelyn, Nell and May were so relatable, loveable and admirable. When we're taught about the Suffragettes in school they are usually presented to us as a faceless group of women who spent their time shouting at policemen and getting arrested. However, Nicholls shows us the everyday plight of the Suffragette. Being told to go home and look after their children, getting pummelled with rotten food, having to pay taxes without even getting a say in society, and having to suddenly adjust to life when the male breadwinner gets called up to fight. I love how a huge variety of women were presented, and one of the things I loved the most about this book was...

GAY SUFFRAGETTES! 

Yep, you heard me correctly.

Nicholls' book seems to campaign for equality for everyone, and shows that the Suffragette movement was more diverse than we can ever imagine. Things a Bright Girl Can Do is such a hopeful book, and shows us how far we have come as a society, yet reminds the reader that there is still an enormou

sly long way to go. Education for girls in lots of countries is still non-existent. Gay marriage is still disallowed (and punished) all around the world. Women are paid less for the same jobs that men have. And men are still taught to put on a brave face, 'be a man' and not talk about the things that bother them. 

Things a Bright Girl Can Do shows us that change is possible and achievable. 

Buy Things a Bright Girl Can Do here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1783445254

Check out Sally Nicholls here: http://sallynicholls.com

Until next time :)