Today I have a review of the newest release by Lissa Evans, Old Baggage, available from Harper Perennial on April 16, 2019!
Matilda Simpkin is living in 1928 London. She’s found a wooden club, something she hasn’t seen for a while, and along with it comes the memories she associates with that item.
You see, Mattie was a suffragette years earlier. She was jailed five times and was quite the spitfire. She longs for that excitement and purpose again. She finds her life boring by comparison now.
Mattie runs into an old friend and fellow suffragette who is fighting for Fascism. This gives Mattie an epiphany; she needs to engage the younger generation of women via founding the Amazons. The purpose of the group is for the women to exercise, both in body and in mind.
Everything is running smoothly, and Mattie is happy with the group’s purpose when a new member joins that brings in Mattie’s past, things she doesn’t want to address.
I loved this quirky and fun story. Mattie is a brilliant and charming main character. She’s formidable and fights hard for her life passions. She’s a leader and isn’t afraid to say and do the hard things. How inspiring is that? She made me think and feel and those are the things I love most in a main character. It is intriguing and thought-provoking to consider after good portions of their lives dedicated to endlessly fight for the right to vote, what did these women go on to do, once voting rights were granted? How does one find purpose again after a victory won in that way?
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
The author of the acclaimed Crooked Heart returns with a comic, charming, and surprisingly timely portrait of a once pioneering suffragette trying to find her new passion in post-WWI era London.
1928. Riffling through a cupboard, Matilda Simpkin comes across a small wooden club—an old possession that she hasn’t seen for more than a decade. Immediately, memories come flooding back to Mattie—memories of a thrilling past, which only further serve to remind her of her chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign, she was a militant who was jailed five times and never missed an opportunity to return to the fray. Now in middle age, the closest she gets to the excitement of her old life is the occasional lecture on the legacy of the militant movement.
After running into an old suffragette comrade who has committed herself to the wave of Fascism, Mattie realizes there is a new cause she needs to fight for and turns her focus to a new generation of women. Thus the Amazons are formed, a group created to give girls a place to not only exercise their bodies but their minds, and ignite in young women a much-needed interest in the world around them. But when a new girl joins the group, sending Mattie’s past crashing into her present, every principle Mattie has ever stood for is threatened.
Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never given up the fight and the young women who are just discovering it.
Have you read Old Baggage, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR