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Mistress Suffragette

5 Star Review

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Editorial Book Review:

By Lara Gavilanez

In "Mistress Suffragette," Diana Forbes creates a vivid picture of Newport, Rhode Island during the Gilded Age, where the Women's Suffrage Movement is gaining traction and traditional expectations collide. One young woman finds herself at the center of it all.

The intrepid lead character, Penelope Stanton, must decide how to achieve financial independence without surrendering her morals—a conundrum that was common to many women in her era. Penelope is faced with a decision that will determine her future when she catches the eye of the mysterious Edgar Daggers, a wealthy banker with questionable motives.

In a world that is changing quickly, Forbes deftly weaves together themes of love, ambition, and cultural expectations to depict the complexity of Penelope's situation. Penelope must face the harsh reality of a society that prioritizes a woman's reputation over all other considerations while she struggles with her affections for Edgar and the pull of a cozy and secure life.

The way that "Mistress Suffragette" examines the relationship between ambition and love during a period of intense social change is what makes the film unique. In addition to attempting to forge her own career in a world dominated by men, Penelope must face the restrictions imposed on women during the Gilded Age as she negotiates the perilous waters of society.

Forbes writes in an exquisite and evocative style that takes readers to a bygone era of sparkling palaces, sumptuous balls, and simmering conflicts. We get a glimpse into the inner workings of a society on the verge of revolution through Penelope's eyes, where new ideas collide with traditional customs and women start to speak out for equality.

Finally, "Mistress Suffragette" is an engrossing story of love, ambition, and the fight for independence during a period of intense social unrest. Readers will be captivated by Diana Forbes's gripping story long after they close the book.

About the Author

Diana Forbes

Diana Forbes is an historical fiction author who is passionate about old New York, ancestry, and untold stories.

She is a ninth-generation American, with ancestors on both sides of the Civil War. Diana Forbes lives and writes in Manhattan. When she is not cribbing chapters, Diana Forbes loves to explore the buildings where her nineteenth-century American ancestors lived, loved, survived and thrived. She is passionate about vintage clothing, antique furniture, ancestry, and vows to master the quadrille in her lifetime.

Diana Forbes’s Publication History:

1. "Mistress Suffragette" (Penmore Press, 2017) is available in paperback and Kindle versions at Amazon.

2. “Temptation,” a chapter from the sequel to Mistress Suffragette, was published in the Saturday Evening Post’s “Great American Fiction” Contest anthology of winners in January 2017.

3. A selection from Mistress Suffragette won 1st Prize in Women’s Fiction in the Missouri Romance Writers of America “Gateway to the Best” Contest.

4. Garcia Memorial Prize, 2018 "Best Fiction Book of the Year."

5. Mistress Suffragette won 1st place, Best Romance, 2018 Reader Views Awards.

6. 2018 North East Regional Award Winner, Reader Views Awards.

7. Mistress Suffragette won 1st Place in the 2016 Chatelaine Award, in the “Romantic and Sensual” category.

8. Won the 2017 Book Excellence Award for "Romance."

9. Awarded the Silver 2017 North American Book Award for "History."

10. Awarded the Silver, 2017 NYC Big Book Awards, "Historical Fiction."

11. Finalist in the Wisconsin RWA “Fab Five” contest in “Women’s Fiction.”

12. Shortlisted in the 2016 Chanticleer Somerset Award for “Literary Fiction.”

13. Shelf Unbound, 2018 Best Indie Book—Notable Indie

14. Kirkus Best Indies Books of 2017

Starred Kirkus Review:

"The book feels like it was written at the time, reading like an alternate, feminist take on The House of Mirth’s “well-born lady in reduced circumstances” with a decidedly happier ending.

A sprightly, winning historical novel about an unexpected romance—between a young woman and her own power".


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