As the Night Ends
It is 1913 in London, and the suffrage movement is in full swing. Alex Goodwin will do anything to attract attention to the cause: protesting politicians’ speeches, breaking shop windows, serving time, going on hunger strikes. After she faints in the courtroom after being manhandled by police, Patrick O’Leary, a physician, rescues her and sees her home safely to her family. Thus begins their tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship, though Alex’s militant suffragism gets in the way of true love. Then World War I breaks out, which proves tragic for them, their friends, and family. This is third in a series about the Goodwin family, following Reflections from the Past and Distant Images. While it was a pleasure to spend time with them again, I never really warmed to Alex, although with all she suffers, I did feel sorry for her. Howard includes many vivid details on the women’s movement (including repetitive descriptions of suffragettes being force-fed in prison) and on nurses’ wartime roles. However, while I generally enjoy Audrey Howard’s novels, I can’t say that Alex’s and Patrick’s love story moved me. The novel also seemed overlong, as if it was trying to cover too much historical ground.