So, a difficult choice for BotW this week – I finished the latest Laurie Graham last week and really enjoyed it – but I also read Lucy Ribchester’s Hourglass Factory and enjoyed that too. So in the end, I’ve picked The Hourglass Factory for BotW and decided to do an Authors I Love post on Laurie G instead, which’ll be coming up in a few weeks. So more for you to read. Bonus.
In The Hourglass Factory, tom-boy reporter Frankie George is trying to make waves in Fleet Street, but all she’s getting are the women’s interest stories an the gossip columns. When she gets assigned to write a profile of trapeze-artist-turned-suffragette Ebony Diamond she gets short shrift. But then Ebony disappears and Frankie finds herself drawn into a world of corsets, circuses, tricks and suffragettes. Where has Ebony gone? What is going on with the suffragettes? And will anyone listen to Frankie if she finds out?
This has been sitting on my shelf for aaaaaages (what’s new) and I kept meaning to read it. Then I saw it recommended by another blogger (Agi’s onmybookshelf) as one of her books of the year of 2015 – alongside several other books that I had read and liked and it gave me the push that I needed.
I really enjoyed this. I haven’t studied the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in much depth – apart from as part of my history GCSE – so I knew the basics, but I don’t think you’d have too much trouble if you knew even less. Lucy Ribchester paints a vivid picture of 1912. Post-Edwardian London springs to life – all dark corners, imminent peril, seedy clubs, variety acts, cuthroats, suffragettes and jails. Some passages were tough going – early 20th century jails were not nice places to get stuck in – but it was totally worth it. This is quite a long read (500 pages) but it is pacy, exciting and thrilling – you don’t notice the pages going by. So good. And another cautionary tale about letting books sit on the shelf.