The works of fiction feature real people in imagined situations, as in “A First Step” by M.J. Rose, a tale in which the family that gave us Tiffany & Co. struggles with providing to the cause of suffrage. “Deeds Not Words” by Steve Berry shows us how many detractors had and, more importantly, gives us a glimpse into how men rationalized that way of thinking at the time.
The best anthologies have subtle connections among the stories but spin yarns that could function well by themselves. You feel a sense of satisfaction when you see the link between the second and third entries. New York works as a setting for the novel since so much occurred. The characters live ordinary lives but seem overwhelmed by their surroundings, and the reader feels that claustrophobia.
Stories like “Boundless, We Ride” by Jamie Ford take the historical aspects as a central role. For example, seeing suffrage through the eyes of Chinese Americans shows the types of prejudice that people assumed back then. “American Womanhood” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez asks us what Americans did when confronting one form of oppression by getting in touch with others that still lie beneath them since American still allows them.
Some people would rather gloss over parts of history that they would rather forget. Still, we must remember when politics allowed people to deny fundamental rights and rationalize that this exclusion existed for the greater good. Every segment has a similar message, but I am confident anyone who borrows the book from me will find one they love. We are downsizing, so I would be happy to pass this on to someone who could receive the same joy.