About the author:
About the book:
Being an independent woman in 1913 London is certainly empowering, but Emmy Nation is tired of the inescapable damp seeping through her worn shoes and the hopeless grumblings of her stomach.
When she receives an offer from Scotland Yard to boost her typist income by spying on the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), Emmy jumps at the chance. But as she grows closer to the WSPU women the lines begin to blur, and when a painful part of her past resurfaces Emmy begins to question her choices.
How far are you willing to go to secure your equality?
I have to admit that I hesitated a little before picking this title up. The topic matter, combined with the author’s experience, could either have turned it into a naturally flowing, historically accurate fictional story that would give great insight into the suffragette movement (and in current discourses surrounding gender equality), or into a heavy to read, patronizing sermon of sorts.
While I cannot vouch for the historical accuracy of the events in L. Davis’ Emmy Nation, Undercover Suffragette, I can vouch that it is an engaging, easy-to-read, entertaining, and informative book that can potentially contribute to any readers’ reflections on the topic of gender equality. At the heart of the novel is Emmy, a strong young woman who makes a life choice unheard of at the time for someone in her position (I’m purposefully keeping this information vague). Everything else is almost coincidental; it’s the natural environment within which we follow this character’s development.
Of course it helps that Emmy’s life takes an exciting turn when she is asked to go undercover and find out more about the suffragette movement. We discover through her what the movement looks like, that its primary discourse is, how the women involved in it were treated, and what they went through. There are some parts of the book that are a little weighed down by full speeches and articles spanning a couple of pages; but although a little awkward at times, it does so much to advance the main plot of the book that ultimately, these additions become welcome.
In an era where women are objectified, when female leaders are misrepresented in the media, and a woman’s allegations of rape are barely taken seriously even when there is evidence, going back to some of the initial steps in the movement towards the equality of men and women might allow us to shake away all distractions and remain focused on the ultimate goal.