Make More Noise! features short stories by ten fabulous female authors. It is a celebration of inspirational girls and women in honour of the centenary anniversary of women’s suffrage. Published by Nosy Crow, to mark the passing of the Representation of the People Act in February 1918, some of the stories are inspired by real events and real people, some are totally imagined; but they all hold freedom and equality at their heart. Written by some of our most favourite female authors there are contributions from M. G Leonard, Patrice Lawrence, Katherine Woodfine and Kiran Millwood Hargrave who comments: “I’m honoured to be contributing to an anthology that celebrates girls in all their complexity and world-changing power.”
The thing about reading short stories is that you want more and you want to know what happens to the characters – a sign of really great storytelling! Where do they end up? Do they manage to achieve their goals? Do they defeat their persecutors? Do they finally get the freedom they so desire? That was certainly the case for me reading these stories. With settings ranging from the East End slums in the 1800s to an unusual ghost story to an intrepid bike ride around the world, each story holds a unique insight into the lives of girls and women through the ages.
I particularly enjoyed Tea and Jam by Katharine Woodfine with a lovely character Eveline trying to do her best to be good at her job of house maid and “not get ideas above her station”. However when she discovers that there are libraries where books are free and there are activities to help you continue your education, the idea of freedom is suddenly much more appealing. I wonder whether she got there in the end?! I also enjoyed The Green-Hearted Girl by Kiran Millwood Hargrave which brought to life a beautiful, fantastical world created by a great flood where tree people inhabit the branches of every kind of tree. Again, I wanted to know what happened next and whether the green hearted-girl was able to unite the treeple!
Each of the stories in this collection has a unique perspective on freedom and the bravery of women and girls to achieve equality and stand up for themselves whether on a personal level or contributing to a national cause. Make More Noise! is a brilliant book to introduce the ideas behind women’s suffrage to a new generation and to celebrate the sacrifices that were made a hundred years ago so women can vote today.
With thanks to Nosy Crow for sending me a copy of this book to review.