11/9/14 ** Time for confessions: I became aware of the book at an Indiana SCBWI event, looked at it in the conference book store, and decided to check it out from the library. After hearing the author speak, I decided to buy it, and I'm glad I did.
Yes, it's long. But I found the story very interesting. Set in England at a time I wasn't especially familiar with - the Edwardian period - the main character wants to be an artist, but she's constrained by the upward social aspirations of her parents. She has to marry well to further her father's business interests.
It seems that the author wanted readers to learn more about the suffrage movement, but she didn't beat us over the head. I cheered for the main character, I wanted to shake her as she made mistakes - thinking inside her parents' box and moving out of her privileged live, and I breathed sighs of relief as she matured in her choices. I was thoroughly involved in the story, and also learned more about art, London, and the British suffrage movement.
Thank you Sharon Waller Biggs.