Votes, Love and War (Ottawa, Baico, 2019, ISBN 978-1-77216-191-5, $32) is one of the very few works of fiction about the Manitoba women's suffrage movement and the First World War as experienced by women on the home front. As well as being an entertaining story in which fictional characters mingle with real historical figures, Votes Love and War explores concerns as important now as they were in the first two decades of the 20th century: the status of newcomers to Canada, the meaning of equality, and the impact of war upon democracy.
When eighteen year old Charlotte leaves her rural Manitoba home in 1913 to find work in Winnipg, she dreams of meeting the Beynon sisters. Francis Marion Beynon and her elder sister, Lillian Beynon Thomas, were sisters, journalists, women's page editors and activists in the Manitoba women's suffrage movement. Under their wings, Charlotte participates in the movement and meets some of the most progressive people in Winnipeg. Then, in the summer of 1914, Canada goes to war and over the next four years, many hopes and dreams are shattered.
The Beynon sisters were instrumental in winning the vote for Manitoba women in 1916 - the first women in Canada to have the franchise. While historians have written about them, their work has not been publicized like that of Nellie McClung, their contemporary. Votes, Love and War shows their important contribution to Canadian women's equality. Copies are available from Baico Publishing, firstname.lastname@example.org and myself, email@example.com.