Gilded Dreams. (Newport Gilded Age Book Two). Donna Russo Morin. Magnum Opus: Sold by Amazon. June 2020, 325 pp.; ASIN: B084GM8DC4.
For the last eight years, the women’s rights movement for suffrage is raging. Donna Russo Morin brings us into Pearl’s Newport world. Beginning with a terrible tragedy, Pearl loses her father on the Titanic. That awful event brings the reader to the event as she is forced to identify her father, the last member of her family, and the horrors she has to experience. That loss makes her realize that she has lost everything as her husband inherits everything. She can inherit nothing as she’s a woman. It is here that she sees the need for a women’s rights law.
She finds her world as a novice suffragette as she meets the women involved in this far off fight. She continues to forge on, being a mother of two and drawing fashion and agreeing to do little things at the Newport level. She and Ginerva are together through the thick and thin of it all. WWI is begun and she is separated from her beloved husband, Peter. The hero he was emerges as she hears of his heroic action which saved the lives of hundreds.
Her world dissolves with the death of Peter and we experience it with Pearl. A crisis develops and she must come up with the will of Peter which she does after much searching and worrying. Who will inherit in this mess when a wife cannot inherit anything?
The world is winding up the war. During this time we meet the other upper echeleon of women’s rights supporters, such as the Lady Astor Brooke, whom Pearl supports. Night and day is the picture of this lady.
Late in the novel, Pearl and Ginerva become opponents. This is totally unexpected and shocks readers but doesn’t prevent the goal of achieving women’s rights which are signed into law.
There are dozens of pages in which supporters help Pearl become the women she rises as she rises from little known Pearl to the leader of the Newport campaign. She is a woman who reads a great deal and is a wise leader in sharing her knowledge.
Donna Russo Morin is great writer who has done her research well and presented a lively and dynamic story. This is historical fiction at its highest and all should enjoy the story!!!