A funny, bittersweet novel from the bestselling author of Crooked Heart
As featured on BBC Radio 4 Good Reads
'The work of a novelist in her prime' Daily Telegraph
'Wise and witty' Sarah Hughes, Observer
'Essential . . . Evans is a brilliant storyteller' Stylist
'A timely, bittersweet comic novel' Guardian
'A thoughtful, funny, companionable novel' Sunday Times
What do you do next, after you've changed the world?
It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club - an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.
Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women's Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing - nothing - since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.
Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea - but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie's militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.
Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never, never given up the fight.
Evans's fourth novel (following Their Finest) is a thoughtful and satisfying story featuring 50-something Mattie Simpkins, a suffragette living in 1928 London with her friend Flossie, or, as everyone calls her, the Flea. Instead of still being on the front lines of change, the women now lead predictable, comfortable lives, which bothers Mattie as she fondly recalls fighting for the right to vote. But after running into a former suffragette who tries to turn young people toward Fascism, Mattie and the Flea are spurred into forming their own organization for young women called the Amazons, with the goal of educating the next generation to be thoughtful and engaged as opposed to being focused on marriage and going to the movies. When Inez joins the club, Mattie is shocked to discover they have a connected past. Trying to motivate Inez to become a strong person, Mattie inadvertently does something that upsets the Flea and threatens the club. Evans weaves an enchanting tale around Mattie and her circle of friends as they attempt to imbue a new generation with their feminist and antifascist values; readers will be captivated.