Book Review - Things a Bright Girl Can Do


Things a Bright Girl Can Do -  Sally Nicholls 

Wow. If I had to sum up this book with one word it would be ‘wow’. I adored with book, it was thought provoking, moving, funny, sweet and very, very real.

It’s been a few days since I’ve read the book and I still don’t know how to get my feelings about it down on paper. They are all good feelings, I just think this book has stirred up something in me that I can’t really explain.

There isn’t really much of an actual ‘plot’ to this novel, but it certainly is a story. It’s a story about three young suffragettes (Evelyn, May and Nell)  from very different backgrounds and their lives during the suffragette movement and their lives during the first world war. It was really interesting to see how all of these girls were affected differently and it really opened my eyes to some of the issues that people, especially the poor, faced. This book made me think about things I have never thought about before, and not just about the suffragette movement. It made me think about what it must’ve been like to have a loved one at war, to live in poverty, to have to sell your belongings and what it was like to be a girl attracted to other girls during this time. And none of them were easy!

What I liked most about this novel was how real the ending was. When women got a limited right to vote after the war (not a spoiler – it’s a fact in history!) it felt very bittersweet. There wasn’t a huge celebration about it like I thought there would be, the fact of the matter was that none of the main characters would still be able to vote because they didn’t meet the criteria. Therefore you’re left feeling rather unsatisfied by the ending but I think that’s how your supposed to feel, because that’s exactly how these characters would’ve felt.

This is probably the worst review I have ever written in my life but I feel like I’ll never be able to explain how much I love this book without a series of strange hand gestures and odd noises. You just need to read it. Just read it. But be warned: your angry feminist inside you will be triggered.


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