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Reviewed by Tiffany Ferrell for Readers' Favorite
Imagine what it would feel like to have no rights. To be completely under the control of your husband and male-dominated society, not even having the right to inherit if you were born female. Ginevra and Pearl, two women raising families in 1912, know too well of the unfair laws that silence their sex. When Pearl's entire family perished on the ill-fated Titanic, she was shocked to learn that she couldn’t inherit what her parents left behind because she was a female. Instead, her husband did. Fueled with anger and a drive for change, she and her Italian friend Ginevra join the suffrage movement with the support of their husbands. Pearl and Ginevra have been friends for years. Both going to the same college and marrying a pair of friends, the couples are an important part of each other’s lives. Before college, Pearl had killed a man who tried to defile Ginny, only solidifying their lifelong friendship as Ginny took the fall for the murder. In the midst of this revolution, the two women fight for their right to vote and to be on equal standing with their husbands. Year after year, it is a hard battle, but one they believe is a human right.
I found Gilded Dreams: The Journey to Suffrage to be a very intriguing read. The two main characters were very well written and had descriptive backgrounds, which is something I enjoy in a book. It captured my attention within the first chapters with the sinking of the Titanic that took the lives of Pearl's family. I also found the backstory of Pearl killing a man who was attempting to rape Ginevra, and both of them practically running off to college afterward, an amazing touch that explained the two women and their unbreakable bond. We follow these two throughout the early years of the twentieth century. I also liked seeing real-life people appearing in the novel because it tied the plot more to the actual history of the women’s suffrage movement. It is apparent that Donna Russo Morin has done her research on the time period and the movement itself, which is a very good thing. It’s definitely a book I would enjoy visiting again. I just found out that Gilded Dreams is the second book of a series involving Ginevra and Pearl. I will definitely be reading it and keeping my eye out for more of Morin’s work.