Kessie Thorpe, the daughter of a Manchester mill-owner is charming, innocent, eager. Sarah Whitworth hails from a tough, working class Lancashire background. Sarah's charismatic brother Tom succeeds in being elected an MP for the emerging Labour Party. Alice Hartley is a rich American, brought to England to find a titled husband, but headstrong, golden girl Alice has other ideas.Their lives converge in 1905 when the three young women join the Pankhursts in the suffrage struggle, the first major step on the road to sexual equality. At the core of the novel is Kessie and Tom's stormy marriage, Alice's desire to bed Tom and Sarah's disastrous foray into ",free love",. While Kessie struggles to find the balance between her personal life as wife and mother and what she sees as her public duty, Tom's attitude towards the wife he loves is a mixture of pride, tolerance and an exasperation that leads him astray.Joyce Marlow draws on her extensive historical knowledge to depict the highs and lows of the suffrage campaign. The brilliant organization, the mass demonstrations, the stunts, imprisonment, hunger strikes and the horrors of forcible feeding, the police brutality on ",Black Friday",.A highly readable novel with surprising relevance to the problems that still face women today.
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