Blog Book Tour | “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” by L. Davis Munro My second reading of Feminist driven Historical Fiction wherein I am championing the spirit of women who fought for our right to have Equality!

Posted Thursday, 25 February, 2016 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” wherein I received a complimentary copy of “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” direct from the author L. Davis Munro in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I am appreciating reading Feminist Historical Fiction:

I believe part of me was drawn into this sub-focus of historicals long before I cued the titles into my reading queues as I fondly recall seeking out strong female characters where the arc of the stories were not only focused on their lives but focused on how women could succeed in a highly dominated men’s world. For a girl who arrived on the scene and grew up in the decades where Working Girl and Baby Boom attempted to make a point about how successful a woman could be if she thought outside the proverbial box and/or wrote her own lifepath out of what was generally expected of her – you could say I was growing up in a potboiler of a new generation of Feminism without realising it!

What I find most inspiring by digging through the historical past via authors such as I am finding now, is this whole new plethora of stories wherein the women who rose out of the shadows to “effectively turn the tides of change” are brought so beautifully to life and within their characters journey we see bits of ourselves; where we can ascertain a focal point in history where women started to say ‘No’ and started to voice not only their opinions but their rights – to be wholly whole and true to themselves without having to back down due to socioeconomic pressure, familial protocol or society’s expectations which held them under a drowning sea of expectations.

I definitely am akin to reading more Feminist Historical Fiction and anxiously await where my next read will generate itself – this is to say, I can find a third author who whets my palette of thirst before either Ms Flynn (the Rebellious Times series) or Ms Munro (Emmy Nation series) complete their next books in sequence of their debuts!

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Blog Book Tour | “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” by L. Davis Munro My second reading of Feminist driven Historical Fiction wherein I am championing the spirit of women who fought for our right to have Equality!Emmy Nation
Subtitle: Undercover Suffragette
by L. Davis Munro
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Being an independent woman in 1913 London is certainly empowering, but Emmy Nation is tired of the inescapable damp seeping through her worn shoes and the hopeless grumblings of her stomach.

When she receives an offer from Scotland Yard to boost her typist income by spying on the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), Emmy jumps at the chance. But as she grows closer to the WSPU women the lines begin to blur, and when a painful part of her past resurfaces Emmy begins to question her choices.

How far are you willing to go to secure your equality?

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9781517529673

Also by this author:

Genres: Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction, Women's Studies


Published by Self Published Author

on 22nd November, 2015

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 336

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About L. Davis Munro

L. Davis Munro

L. Davis Munro holds a master’s degree with a focus on women’s suffrage theatre and works in theatre and dance. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with her husband and her dog.

Author Links Updated: January, 2018

*SPECIAL NOTE*: to honour typists and typewriters I set the typography on this review to reflect a ‘typewriteresque font’! I couldn’t resist since Ms Emmy is a typist in the story!

My Review of Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette:

There are so many unique windows into the historical past and as such, events which reverberate in and out of their echoes to arrive inside our hearts and minds. For each corridor you wander inside the artifacts and antidotes left behind of a different era and age, you are on the finger-point of entering into a new discovery. Thus, this is how wickedly delighted I felt, whilst entering inside this story, as who knew orchids were used to champion Women’s Equality and to carry a torch for the right for freedom against the barriers of the gender divide? Not I! This was a curious beginning, as it precepts our entrance of Ms Emmy; a tipping stone of a hint towards what shall come (of course) but evenso, a signal that sometimes history likes to set her own rhythm of disclosure…

Such a cosy entrance we are blessed with having tucked so closely into Ms Emmy’s life, as she has keeping quarters attached to her landlady’s (Mrs Lawrence) kitchen! A special nook which once held a pantry, now has the attributes of a twenty-six year old independent woman who has a sensibility about fashion and thrifty commerce which endears you straight to her side instantly. She has a no nonesense personality mixed with a knowing awareness that despite her frugality, it’s more about one’s attitude than one’s depth of resources. You can nearly feel the flames emitting out of the fireplace kiss your own cheek as Ms Emmy exits her small yet efficient room.

This set-up was quite familiar to me as it reminded me of a classical film I simply adore called “Since You Went Away” when a family has to become creative about living through the World War whilst their husband/father is abroad. There is another classic film with the same type of setting whose name eludes me, but it’s these kind of stories I love alighting inside as they bring together the kernel insights and seminal truths of how to get on with living whilst circumstances change in a blink of a bolt!

Seemingly having an ordinary existence being one of the typists the local police hired to do the rather mundane and highly rote workload of transcriptions, Ms Emmy finds herself betwixt accepting this as her life’s work and toying with the idea of what might lie ahead of her that would not be so pathetically redundant. There isn’t too much to excite her except for the one stray murderous account she filed away which gave her an itch for something outside the regular police blotter of nothingness.

Imagine? How delish it must have sounded to be offered the chance to work undercover for the police? Mind you, it was rather an offhanded and desperate offer when their first choice had to pass; evenso, I, like Ms Emmy would have opted for a chance to prove my salt because in this game, it’s about proof not self-determined grit.

With new responsibilities come new entanglements; we start to see how Ms Emmy is nearly caught in her own webbing of deceit as she creates a few embellishments to hide a few things she would prefer were not readily known; such as where she takes residence and of her parentage being of a different station than she eludes. The interesting bit is the Officer assigned to watch over her (Colin) reminded me quite keenly of Dot’s Hugh from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (the tv series, I have yet to read the books); a bit shy around the edges but honest with a degree of latitude to understand things one does not wish to share aloud.

Part of the allure for me in soaking inside Ms Emmy’s life is her relationship with her landlady Mrs Lawrence, as she’s such a warm-hearted spirit to share space with Emmy! Her enduring kindness and the charm of knowing when Emmy needs a bit of a lift of spirit or a nudge of encouragement is so lovely to see expressed. You gather from the few tidbits Emmy is sharing about her previous home-life, that she’s had to make hard choices about her present circumstances and part of those choices was ‘letting go’ of family. This is a struggle for her, as she has such a loving memory of the close connection she shared with her Mum; in some ways, it felt to me as if Mrs Lawrence was occupying that space of her heart where her Mum would have been her rock of support.

I hadn’t seen that dish of news coming! Ms Emmy does keep secrets tucked close to her chest, that much is certain! The entire time I was seeing her from this new perspective, I couldn’t help but notice how charmingly kind Colin is towards her; not only in his enveloping affections but how similar to the forementioned Hugh and Dot, he genuinely is curious about her and through his curiosity he’s become smitten. The whole time they’re attempting to get the inside scoop on the Suffragettes is the best time for them to grow towards each other and learn that sometimes love walks in a door you did not realise you’ve left open!

The more Emmy retreats inside the organisation she is meant to infiltrate the more she starts to question – not only about the actions of the group but her own thoughts about the rights for Women’s Equality. Colin provides a salve of calm in her swirling sea of chaos, a surprising ally when she needs one most yet even he cannot resolve the deeper thoughts she’s contemplating and the peace she is seeking through it all. Her new experiences are taxing her to her core, not only physically but mentally. She is almost losing a part of her own identity for the sake of doing the right thing – in this, I feel is her worst regret. To get too far inside the Suffragette movement but not on the side of the peace loving protesters but on the side where law and justice are blurred.

The part that breaks your heart is the treatment of the women in the prison; the inhumane torturing of force-feeding and the manner in which they carry out this horrid discipline simply because the Suffragettes were trying to prove they deserved compassion and an innate right to have a voice. Equality in their day came at high prices but how they were treated once they were taken by the police is a blight on history’s marker because no one should be subjected to what they were and the people responsible should be the first to be outed in need of not only reform but punishment for their crimes against the women.

The ending of this novel has such a spirit of togetherness and of championing a cause this is much more than one act or two to get a point across. It is a living embodiment of civil rights and the fight women held so dear to their souls to find Equality and fight for the natural rights we all have to preserve our humanity. I nearly choked in anxiety to see how the story would end, because it’s such a guttingly brilliant ending – a fixed mark of a new start, a resurgence of a beginning and an unsuspecting crusader who found the light of hope out of a cell of darkness.

A pause of a note about vintage typewriters:

Remington’s were my first choice when it comes to vintage typewriters next to the Royal, of course and it’s a Royal which found it’s way into my life. I hinted about it on Twitter recently (see tweet) and I have revealled it on a few blogs I was visiting in the blogosphere – mind you, it holds a special place in my memory for how my Royal found me, as I also mentioned recently on Twitter (see tweet) typewriters find those who are seeking them of whom they know are the right companions to be sought. There is an unwritten code amongst vintage typewriter collectors such as myself, where you not only honour the machine but you honour the tradition of how the machines carried themselves through time.

There is a special moment where you find yourself so struck by the beauty of the machine and of the timeless manner in which it’s vintage self has such a strong and familiar presence. I grew up learning how to type on a computer (as it was the computer age after all) but what I longed to know is how to type. To properly put words to keys and let the creativity flow where the words could not be easily erased nor lost to a computer mouse or screen. Nowadays, after two epic computer crashes and massive losses of data, my will to embrace the computer age died a slow death to where I have turnt analog rather than continue my preference for hi-tech. I’d dearly love to say in the future all my stories were writ on my Royal or one of my next companions of type, because dear hearts, to visually see the fruits of my labours in hard copy is a far greater joy than clicking a button to automatically have the words expunged into a printer’s box. The only deference to this is being a book blogger whose body of work is virtually showcased and stored.

I bring this up because when I first saw the cover-art for Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette it brought back to mind my intentions of seeking out stories involving typists and typewriters; to find the stories where the machines were not just in the background but were a bit of a mainstay of life. Even seeing Agent Carter use a typewriter on Agent Carter is a feast of folly for me, as I wonder where they picked up so many lovelies for the wide angle shots?

On the writing style of L. Davis Munro:

Munro has this touch of insight to fuse you so readily inside her character’s state of mind and emotional internal clock, you almost feel as if you could transition straight into her shoes! When you pick up her novel, you start to settle so truly into the moment of what is occurring, you nearly forget it’s a historical narrative because the action of the hour feels quite realistic and dearly point of fact true! I don’t believe I ever would have thought I’d walk inside a story at the turn of a stroke finding a botanical garden is being vandalised in such a critically metaphoric manner! Munro gives you something to chew on straight out of the gate, which sets the tone for greeting Ms Emmy, who is such a fully developed character by her own rights, it’s hard to lay too much time on the opening action sequence!

She presented the case for why the Suffragettes turnt to action rather than diplomacy quite well, as in the fuller scope of the story, you can start to understand why they felt they were pushed against a rail. Even if, on my own conscience, I could not condone their actions as once they moved away from peaceful protesting and honest pursuits towards changing the closed mindset of their day, they crossed a line they could not uncross; one that did less to warrant their argument and more to prove they were not ready for the change in which they sought so desperately to win. Part of the evolving back-story Munro discloses is the pursuit of a power struggle – where the Suffragettes felt they were winning a voice to champion their cause, they were truly going in the opposite direction to prove that too much power can go to one’s head.

The research that went into the background of the novel is presented well, as it doesn’t overtake the narrative and it allows you to have a connective tissue to the past without it feeling too oppressing. Most of the events leading up to the climax are tongue and cheek; even outright humourous as not all the Suffragettes were taking action that warranted severe repercussions. I even applauded how Munro treated Ms Emmy’s transformation, how she endued her with a benefactor (Scotland Yard) and surrounded her with well-seasoned advisories who could aide her in growing more confident in her own skin.

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Previously I hosted Ms Munro in a wicked sweet interview! Be sure to visit our conversation to see how inspiring the conversation became for both of us!

My review was unfortunately delayed due to personal reasons and an unexpected bout of unwellness this week, as I had originally re-scheduled for my review to run on Tuesday whilst being mindful of the fact sometimes we have to remain patient and let ourselves recover our health a bit before we can proceed. I was quite excited to dig inside this story as I had such an enjoyable time interviewing the author! Plus, I felt like between this novel and The Renegade Queen I found a new appreciation for Feminist Histfic!

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Emmy Nation”, book synopsises, author photograph of L. Davis Munro, author biography, and the iRead book tour banner were all provided by iRead Book Tours and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

Related Articles:

Since You Went Away – (en.wikipedia.org)

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I’m a social reader | I tweet as I read:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Thursday, 25 February, 2016 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Feminine Heroism, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Self-Published Author, the Nineteen Hundreds, The Writers Life, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Women's Suffrage




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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “Emmy Nation: Undercover Suffragette” by L. Davis Munro My second reading of Feminist driven Historical Fiction wherein I am championing the spirit of women who fought for our right to have Equality!

  1. Hi Jorie,
    Your review, like your interview, feels like a warm blanket. I am so grateful that you took the time and love to write such a caring and thoughtful review. Thank you so much! I have started reading The Renegade Queen based on your recommendation. I am only a few chapters in, but what a fascinating story. I am also a huge fan of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Agent Carter!! I discovered both of these shows recently and see the similarities between Hugh and Colin as well.
    Cheers,
    Lia

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