Happy Thursday, guys!
This week, one of my most anticipated books of 2016 had its fabulous book birthday!
The Jessica Spotswood-edited anthology A Tyranny of Petticoats has hit shelves, and trust me when I say, you guys want this book.
Read on for my thoughts, and why this is a book you can't miss!
Published March 8th 2016 by Candlewick Press
Format read: ARC via publisher
Crisscross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.
With stories by:
J. Anderson Coats
Y. S. Lee
The fifteen stories featured in the anthology traverse the historical fiction spectrum, ranging from J. Anderson Coat's fantastic tale of piracy, to a hauntingly beautiful historical fantasy by Leslye Walton, and concluding with an unforgettable story of 1960s political activism by Robin Talley.
While I enjoyed each story immensely, I was especially fond of Leslye Walton's El Destinos for its unique juxtaposition of female roles and mythology, Caroline Richmond's Red Raven Ball for its classic, elegantly penned tale of a Washington DC spy, and Lindsay Smith's City of Angels tale about World War II.
While Walton's story inspired me to consider mythology in a new and humanizing way, Richmond and Smith's tales were a tribute to their talent, both for their fabulous protagonists and the fact that they have both written stories that prove that there are still many tales to be told of well-studied and written about eras.
Outside of individual stories, it's worth nothing that Spotswood sensibly arranges the stories in chronological order, which helps emphasize and chart the progression of women and women's rights throughout the ages. And while there is a definite improvement in the lot of women in each successive generation, it's also interesting to note that there's a universality running through each of these stories, with women being brave, daring and even self-sacrificing, as they've pursued both a better live for themselves, but also for those around them.
Bottom line: this is one flawless anthology that fits together like a puzzle. You won't want to miss it.
Though each story takes place in a different time period, each of these authors have managed to capture a universality in their tales of sisterhood, family, struggles and love throughout the ages, which will resonate deeply with each reader that picks up this book. Spotswood has effortlessly edited a narrative that celebrates not only what it means to be a woman, but a uniquely brave and beautiful woman, throughout the ages. Consequently, it's fitting that this is being released during Women's History Month.
Highly recommend for all readers, full stop. You want this one for your shelves.