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Reviewed by Ica Iova for Readers' Favorite
Growing up, Victoria Woodhull — the sixth of ten children — knew nothing but abuse at the hands of her father, poverty, and all sorts of dysfunctional family ties. Her first marriage proves even worse than the family she was born into. In spite of being abused, she becomes very vocal about her opinions where women’s rights are concerned. She becomes an advocate of free love, by which she means the freedom to marry, divorce, and bear children without government interference. Then she meets handsome Civil War General James Blood, whose support encourages Victoria to fight for women’s rights. Named after the English monarch, Victoria lives in an era where women belonged in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, but her determination earns her a nomination for President of the United States in 1872 before women could even vote. But when Victoria adopts James’s radical ideas, she finds herself facing prejudice and prosecution. Eventually, her perseverance forces her and James to choose between their newly discovered love and their duties to their country.
Set against the backdrop of early America, Renegade Queen by Eva Flynn is one of the best historical novels I’ve had the pleasure to read in years, a page turner of strong characters who stand up for what they think is right, in spite of the costs. Eva Flynn has done her research. She skillfully textures history with engaging dialogue. She doesn't shy away from controversy. Engaging, realistic, historically accurate, it captivates the reader and makes the story memorable. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was surprised to find out that there was a woman running for president back when women did not have the right to vote.