I’ve been waiting quietly on the sidelines for an LGBT-themed book which I could really do justice to in my review, and what an opportunity Things a Bright Girl Can Do has given me! I get LGBT interest, totally kick-ass women, and history all in the same 400 page read! (Speaking of kick-ass women, you all read Lass Emma’s International Women’s Day post about being a Girl Boss, right??)

The 100 year anniversary of women getting the vote is an absolutely ideal time to read a book about Suffragettes, so get yourself to the nearest bookshop or library asap and get hold of this beauty.

It tells the story of Evelyn, who’s desperate to study at Oxford just like boys are allowed to do without being challenged, and Nell and May, who – among other challenges – are dealing with the pressures of making it work as a couple when they’re from two different social classes.

I can’t lie, I absolutely loved this book and it made me so sad when I had to put it down and go to bed every night.

The characters are so interesting and believable, and I was really surprised by how adult they all are. I don’t think when I was 15 I could have been passionate enough about anything to justify assaulting a policeman! I guess things were different ‘back then’, and girls grew up a lot faster… but it does make you think about whether there’s anything you believe in as whole-heartedly as they believe in their cause.

One of the things I love about the book is that it’s historically accurate, but without being too heavy going, so if you’ve ever picked up a Dickens and run away screaming, this book is for you – you get all the history but still with totally accessible language!

I’m not giving away anything about the ending, but it kept me guessing right up until the last page, and there was this constant fear that there might not be the happiest ending (it is, after all, set partially in the First World War!), which made me want to finish it as quickly as possible so I could find out what happened!

In case I hadn’t made it clear, I’d 100% recommend this book to everyone – but especially fans of books with strong-willed women, LGBT interest, and history. I borrowed a copy from Central Library (obvs, because Claire’s library love is rubbing off on me!), but you should also be able to get it from local bookshops and Amazon too. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

If you want to keep up with the latest updates from the author, Sally Nicholls, you can check out her website and socials:

Sally Nicholls; photo c/o Andersen Press

Categories: Boro Books


Favourite things are the Dorman Museum, history, and photography, and blog posts usually contain at least one of them!