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Gilded Dreams: The Journey to Suffrage (Newport's Gilded Age)
by Russo Morin Donna

Published: 2020-06-16T00:0
Paperback : 328 pages
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From the bestselling author of GILDED SUMMERS comes a powerful novel of the last eight years of the American Women’s fight for suffrage.

The battle for the vote is on fire in America. The powerful and rich women of Newport, Rhode Island, are not only some of the most involved ...

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Introduction

From the bestselling author of GILDED SUMMERS comes a powerful novel of the last eight years of the American Women’s fight for suffrage.

The battle for the vote is on fire in America. The powerful and rich women of Newport, Rhode Island, are not only some of the most involved suffragettes, their wealth - especially that of the indomitable Alva Vanderbilt Belmont - nearly single-handedly funded the major suffrage parties. Yet they have been left out of history, tossed aside as mere socialites. In GILDED DREAMS, they reclaim their rightful place in history.

Pearl and Ginevra (GILDED SUMMERS) are two of its most ardent warriors. College graduates, professional women, wives, and mothers, these progressive women have fought their way through some of life’s harshest challenges, yet they survived, yet they thrive. Now they set their sights on the vote, the epitome of all they have struggled for, the embodiment of their dreams.

From the sinking of the Titanic, through World War 1, Pearl and Ginevra are once more put to the test as they fight against politics, outdated beliefs, and the most cutting opponent of all... other women. Yet they will not rest until their voices are heard until they - and all the women of America - are allowed to cast their vote. But to gain it, they must overcome yet more obstacles, some that put their very lives in danger.

An emotional and empowering journey, GILDED DREAMS is a historical, action-packed love letter to the women who fought so hard for all women who stand on the shoulders of their triumph.

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Excerpt

We stood under a brilliant blue sky at the very end of Bellevue Avenue where the carriages used to make their turn around for afternoon parades; it was the most appropriate place to begin this parade. While the wide circle was in front of Rough Point—the ‘cottage’ built and owned by Frederick Vanderbilt, Alva’s brother-in-law from her first marriage—Alva’s own cottage, Marble House, was the next we would pass as we made our way down the length of Bellevue. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Why was the mention of Pearl’s mother the “mark” that broke Pearl’s stony shock? Would this be considered a typical response to grief? If so, why? Or if not, why not?
2. While informative and engaging, what is the purpose of Pearl’s loss of her entire family in the sinking of the Titanic? Is it merely a historically monumental event to mark the time setting of the story and to engage the reader quickly to the tale or does it have a deeper intention within the context of the story?
3. For readers both female and male, were you aware that one hundred years ago, married women had no entity in the eyes of law? If not, do you believe it is a part of women’s history that should be taught in schools? Why or why not?
4. Pearl tells us that... It was all right there, on every canvas I had covered with my paints… the question of who I am, what I am. Why did she question her identity? Which two worlds did she live in? And why did this cause an internal struggle for her?
5. As Pearl and Ginevra are reading more about women’s legal rights, or the lack thereof, it was stated of Ginevra that: “As an immigrant, her position was even more precarious than mine. We had learned that, were her husband to die, the government would send her back to Italy, a home she hadn’t been to in almost twenty years, and without her children.” Discuss the similarity to the laws of the land (at the time of this book’s release). Does it represent a forward or backward movement in the handling of immigrants to the United States?

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