Saturday, February 27, 2010
A Too Short History Of Women
Dorothy's heirs: her daughter Evie, her son Thomas's daughter Dorothy and Dorthy's daughters Caroline and Liz all take up the suffragette/feminist mantle in some way in their lives whether they realize it or not though not in the public way their Grandmother did. The paths they choose science, the arts or as a contemporary housewife are all different but they all still chafe at what society has set out for them. Short History is no diatribe against what hasn't happened for women nor is it a celebration of girl power. There is an undercurrent of anger in these characters but also a striving to understand themselves, the complications of their relationships and what to do about it all.
Reading Short History was a pleasure. It's witty, dramatic and enlightening. Walbert's quietly authoritative writing is smart and disturbing. She moves effortlessly from the historical to the contemporary parts of the book. There are big questions here about life and the big events that change lives but they never overwhelm the storytelling. This is a brilliant, unforgettable novel.
Happy, but sorry that the lovely cover of this book doesn't reproduce well here. You'll like it in person.