The Making of Mollie drops the feisty titular character into the radical political and social suffragette movement. I loved this book because the plot intertwines everyday life, school problems and feminism to create a realistic portrait of an Irish schoolgirl in the early twentieth century.
It’s spring 1912, and 14-year-old Mollie Carberry lives in Drumcondra with her loving but distracted parents, her older sister Phyllis, her spoiled older brother Harry and her saintly little sister Julia. Mollie’s convinced that her life is boring - until she discovers that Phyllis is a secret suffragette. After attending a suffrage meeting, Mollie wants to do something for the movement too – and she soon convinces her best friend Nora to join her. However, once they are involved, they must discover how far they will go for their beliefs.
Within the story there is an interesting form of narrative as the story is told through letters written from Mollie to her friend Frances.
The spectre of arrest and violence that looms over the schoolgirls’ antics shows the struggle that the suffragettes went through for a simple human right. This just adds a touch of tension and fear into the otherwise mischievous schoolgirls’ antics.
I must add though that although many will promote this novel to a female audience, I would strongly recommend it to boys as well, because the story is about a significant historical period that changed society.
To sum it all up, The Making of Mollie is an interesting historical novel, with a splash of girl power added for good measure.