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Throwback Thursday: GovReads: A Short History of Women – In Honor Of Women’s History Month

Originally Posted by Amy Phillips on March 20, 2010 at 2:32pm

When I decided to read this book, I didn’t know hardly anything about it. Oh, I knew it had been on many editors Top Picks of 2009 lists, but that was about it. But my first book review for GovLoop was coming out in March, which is Women’s History Month, so I decided this would be the perfect book to start off with. Off I went to my nearest Barnes and Noble, looked in the Women’s Studies section- nothing, looked in History- nothing, finally, I went to the desk and asked WHERE could I find this book. Turns out it wasn’t non- fiction, it was, in fact, a novel. Alrighty, then.

OK, so I found the right section, got the book, and sat down to read. The book covers about 4 generations of the Townsend women, but it starts with Dorothy Townsend. She has decided to go on a hunger strike for the British Suffragette cause. She dies leaving two children behind and four generations of human wreckage. The book moves in and out of each person’s life- one moment you are reading about Dorothy Townsend during her hunger strike, then about her granddaughter dealing with the loss of her son, and back to Dorothy in her teenage years. It is not a book to be picked up thinking you will move from A to B to C. Ms. Walbert takes you in and out of the years to tell her story. But the final question is, is the story any good?
The answer is- yeah, kind of. At first, I must tell you that I hated this book, the writing pretentious, the women unlikable, the story thin. But as the story moved around these womens lives, and I saw them from all angles, I began to appreciate them more. By then end, I was satisfied that I had gotten to know them, their struggles, and even began to hope for them to succeed. I’m glad that I decided to review this book, because if I had picked it up on my own I would not have finished past the first 50 pages, so desperately did I want to smack these women upside the head.
But finish I did, and I can say that I enjoyed the read. But what about you? Do I think you will enjoy it, well let’s go to my rating system-
Buy it NOW!– this is reserved for the best books
Paperback on an Airplane– It’s a good read, but if you leave it in the seat, you won’t be crushed.
Borrow it– From the library or from a friend, that way if you don’t like it or don’t find it especially moving, as I suspect you might, you won’t have spent your hard earned money on it.
Wait for the move– The book is awful, but it might make a great film.
Skip it altogether– I hated it, I think you will too.
For A Short History of Women- I am going with Borrow It.
Feel free to disagree with me, tell me I missed the point, or any other comment in the comments section. I’m always up for a good debate.
And regardless of review, I will always leave a link for you to buy it. You can find this book here.
*Every Thursday, GovLoop is combing through our archives to bring you stories of yore that could help you in your job today. So stay tuned for Throwback Thursday!

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