Tag Archives: Women’s suffrage

The Cure for Dreaming

31 Oct

My father hasn’t been to the dentist for decades. I was a teenager when I asked my mom about this. She told me that he hadn’t been to the dentist since the time he went to one who didn’t use anesthetic because he hypnotized his patients. Apparently he wasn’t able to hypnotize my father and ended up turning Dad of dentists forever.

So imagine my delight when I found out that Cat Winters’ new book,  The Cure for Dreaming, involves dentistry and hypnosis!

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Last Saturday I went to her launch party at Powells’ Books in Beaverton, where she gave background to the story, read a bit, and gave us insight into her inspirations and future projects. Of course I got a copy of the book and had her sign it.

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The story takes place in Portland, Oregon. It is 1900 and Olivia Mead, the protagonist, is a suffragist, much to the chagrin of her father, a dentist. He has a mesmerist hypnotize the rebellion out of her. Rather than doing so she becomes able to see people’s true natures, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud.

You can watch this segment of Oregon Art Beat where Cat talks about her book and the research that went into it.

Madness & Wickedness

21 Jul

As much as I love historical fiction, I am glad I didn’t live when girls had few options. I was reminded of this fact while reading A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller .

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It is the first decade of the 20th century and all Victoria Darling wants to be is an artist. But London society of 1909 is no place for a young woman who wants to do something other than follow the proscribed path for a girl of her socio-economic status. She is expected to marry well. When it is discovered that Vicky posed nude while secretly studying art, she is given an ultimatum: marry a young man of her parents’ choosing or be banished to live with an ancient aunt.

Thinking the marriage will be a means for her to apply to the Royal College of Art, Vicky agrees to the marriage. As he plan progresses, we watch Vicky bloom from a naive girl into an independent young woman. Some of her decisions along the way seem foolish and self-centered, but which of us didn’t make some poor decisions growing up? In her quest for independence, Vicky encounters the world of women’s suffrage and realizes her quest for the  freedom to make decisions on her own behalf is part of a larger quest for women’s rights.

I really enjoyed this book, and was especially pleased that Sharon Biggs Waller managed to include so much infer nation about the women;s suffrage movement in such a compelling way. It is an excellent example of “show not tell”.

Fans of historical fiction will love this book!

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