Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
I first read a book by Sally Nicholls back in 2008 when her Ways to Live Forever was given to me on a visit to Waterstones head office and then made me cry in public (it is a great book - search it out!) but for some reason since then she has slipped off my reading radar.
I was given a proof of Things a Bright Girl Can Do when I was in Cambridge at a publisher roadshow organised by the Reading Agency and as soon as the representative from Andersen Press started talking about it I knew it was going to be my sort of book.
The book follows the lives of three teenagers/young women from the middle of 1914 through until women received the limited vote in 1918. All three women have strong feminist ideals and are connected in some way to the Suffragette movement and all come from very different backgrounds.
The plot covers a lot of ground but I was immersed in all the plot strands and felt I was living with the women as they came of age. This book mixed the best bits of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth, Pat Barker's books, Robert Graves Goodbye to All That and the film Suffragette.
For me this is historical writing at its best and it has shot into the top ten of my 'favourite books of the year' list.