In A Vote of Confidence, the stage is set for some intriguing insight into what it was like during 1915 to be a woman in a “mans’ world.”
Guinevere Arlington is a beautiful young woman determined to remain in charge of her own life, For seven years, Gwen has carved out a full life in the bustling town of Bethlehem Springs, Idaho, where she teaches piano and writes for the local newspaper. Her passion for the town, its people, and the surrounding land prompt Gwen to run for mayor. After all, who says a woman can’t do a man’s job?
But stepping outside the boundaries of convention can get messy. A shady lawyer backs Gwen, believing he can control her once she’s in office. A wealthy newcomer throws his hat into the ring in an effort to overcome opposition to the health resort he’s building north of town. When the opponents fall in love, everything changes, forcing Gwen to face what she may have to lose in order to win.
Books about women in politics are always intriguing to me. The ones that especially do are those that are set when women are the underdog during times when they are NOT supposed to be involved in politics. Gwen is setting up the new era of women in politics in the West and I'm glad that her campaigning was met with non violence and no roughness. I'm surprised at how well received she was in the town. Not because she was not a good candidate but because the town seems welcome to the possibility of having a female preside over them. She handled the situation very well and kept up her standards throughout the story. She actually knows why and how she will help the town out as opposed to other stories that I have read where the women run for office but have no platform. I enjoyed reading about her relationship with Morgan. There was very good chemistry between the two of them. Even though they felt attraction to each other, I was glad that both decided to stay in the race and not "drop out" in order to make the other happy. I thought his business of a spa was also very innovational for the time period. I was very impressed with the ending of the book. I was afraid that it would fall into the stereotype of the female falling back to the "traditional female" role of the time period. My only qualm is that Gwen's mother has not seen her OTHER daughter, Cleo in 20 years yet does not show any desire to see her at all. I can understand not wanting to see her estranged husband but it's very strange that she doesn't want to see her own daughter. The fact that it was never even brought up bother me a little. I'm hoping that this is talked about in the next book which focuses on Cleo.
That being said, I thought this was a great story about frontier life, romance and the beginning of women's lib in the West. Robin Lee Hatcher has written another winner.
A Vote of Confidence by Robin Lee Hatcher is published by Zondervan (2009)