Deeds not Words
by Ashe Barker
Ashe Barker’s ‘Deeds Not Words” tells the fictional story of Clarissa, a young upper-class woman who is a staunch believer in the suffragette movement to fight for the rights of women to vote. It is set in England, but during this time of the American election of 2020 it feels very topical in a way, especially when one of the current vice-presidential candidate is a woman. The character of Clarissa joins in the activities of the suffragette movement. Clarissa is arrested and throw in prison, where is she is treated roughly and violently force fed for weeks before her former guardian, James, Viscount Smallwood finds out. He uses his money and position to free her.
James is older than her and is an admirable leading man. He doesn’t want her to continue to put herself at risk, but he agrees with the suffragette cause. James encourages Clarissa to utilize her writing skills and pen by writing articles for different papers explaining why women should have the right to vote. Clarissa is smart and courageous, figuring out her place in the world and what she wants in life.
I thought the characters were nicely developed and enjoyed reading about their relationship. There developed a domestic discipline aspect of the relationship, but it is clearly grounded in mutual love and respect. There are several great secondary characters, and James’ horrible stepsister makes for a great villain. The author does a very good job enhancing her fictional story with real history. Clarissa and James have a lovely HEA. The epilogue is a great finish, and delivers some big surprises of its own.