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Fire-Hearted Suns

But she, my child, will bear it. For strong souls

Live like fire-hearted suns to spend their strength

In farthest striving action; breathe more free

In mighty anguish than in trivial ease.
- George Eliot.

The cost of freedom is sacrifice.

London, 1908. It’s the dawn of a new century and change is in the air.
When 17-year-old Beatrice Taylor stumbles across the offices of the infamous Pankhursts and the Women’s Social and Political Union she begins to realise her future may not be the one she wants.
Her friend Catherine Dawson is too pragmatic to get caught up in the women’s suffrage movement. Despite Oxford refusing to award women degrees she is determined to keep apace with her twin brother and pursue a career in science.
Meanwhile, Ida Bennett, recently promoted to head wardress of DX wing at Holloway Prison has her work cut out for her. The suffragette inmates are refusing to be treated like criminals—and Ida's not having any of it.
This is the story of three women whose lives become entwined—with the burgeoning women’s movement and with each other. Like Fire-Hearted Suns shows how much things have changed for women—and how much they stay the same.

"It reminded me of reading the works of Susan Sontag and Annie Ernaux who obliterate the false barrier between language and the condition of the female body, and therefore, between the personal and the collective."
"The novel is sometimes a harrowing or heartbreaking read; it’s always thought-provoking and beautifully written ... it’s already one of my picks for the year."
"Sometimes a reviewer wants to write this: “I loved this book. You might too. The end.” Still, it is my job, and in this case my pleasure to detail why I loved, and admired Melanie Joosten’s third novel, Like Fire-Hearted Suns."

MARCH 2024

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