It’s August already, and that means it is time for another book club pick from the Official Future Female Leaders book club! You know we love to mix up our genres, so after a YA novel, and a contemporary adult book, we’re going to be reading historical fiction! This isn’t just any historical fiction though–it’s straight-forward, fact-based historical fiction all about a moment in time you may know nothing about: the 1913 Suffrage Parade in Washington, D.C. 

If you like historical fiction that is focused on what’s happening rather than romance or emotional turmoil and strong, female characters who all get their own POVs, you’re going to LOVE our August pick: The Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini. 

Travel back to the 1910s with us. World War I, aka the Great War, hasn’t started yet. The Spanish flu hasn’t decimated the world, and women can’t vote. But there are people who want to change that, and three of those suffragists are our protagonists: Alice Paul, Maud Malone, and Ida B Wells-Barnett. A suffrage activist, a suffragist librarian, and a Black suffragist journalist provide 3 unique POVs throughout this book, and through their eyes, we get to see the months around the 1913 parade and all that went into making it happen. From the politics of speaking up against presidential candidates to planning a march to navigating racism in the movement, this book is a great read for those of you who have never heard of the 1913 parade, and those of us who want to dive even deeper into suffrage. 

As someone who lives in Washington, D.C. I loved seeing the “local” moments of this book, but also learned SO much. I had no idea who Maud Malone was, and now I’m OBSESSED with the “militant suffragist librarian.”  Of course, I was familiar with Alice Paul and Ida B Wells-Barnett, but having Ida have her own POV, and seeing the racism she faced first hand, was jarring. We all know the movement was not perfect, and I’m so glad to see more and more books grappling with the ways in which women’s suffrage overlook and took advantage of Black women and women of color. This book is one of those! This is a historical fiction book that, with a few cuts, could be easily classified as history, so if you’re wary of historical fiction because you’ve read too many Regency romance novels, do not fret! This book is very fact-based and the women’s insights are thought-provoking and informative. 

We hope you’ll spend August reading The Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini with us, and celebrating the 101st anniversary of the 19th Amendment. 

Get your copy here.

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Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member