Cover of Old Baggage

This is billed as the ‘what happened next’ story of a suffragette, set in 1928. And though I think that’s selling it a little short I’m struggling to come up with a better way to describe it. Can we only be defined by what we once were? It’s not just Mattie the ex-suffragette’s story; the minor characters make it the story of a time and a place. We see Mattie’s housemate ‘The Flea’ working as a health visitor trying to dispense contraceptive advice among other things. Her teenage charlady’s dealings with family and friends shed light on the way women were expected to behave at that time. And one of Mattie’s former suffragette colleagues has fallen under Mussolini’s spell. I really enjoyed it and I was surprised at the end to find that it’s a prequel of sorts (I think) to another of Evans’ books so I’ll be looking out for that one.

More information about this book can be found on goodreads.