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5 stars for Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit by Carrie Hayes #hisfic #herstory #books

Title: Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit

Author: Carrie Hayes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Blurb:

From Washington Heights to Washington D.C. comes a true American Herstory. Filled with intrigue, lust, and betrayal, this is the fight for sexual equality.

1868, on the eve of the Gilded Age: Spiritualist TENNESSEE CLAFLIN is smart, sexy, and sometimes clairvoyant. But it’s her sister, VICTORIA WOODHULL, who is going to make history as the first woman to run for President of the United States.

It starts with the seduction of the richest man in America. Next, they'll take New York City and the suffragist movement by storm, because together, Tennessee and Victoria are a force of nature. Boldly ambitious, they stop at nothing, brushing shoulders with Harriet Beecher Stowe and Susan B. Anthony, using enough chutzpah to make a lady blush.

That is, until their backstabbing family takes them to court, and their carefully spun lives unravel, out in public and in the press.

“Unsexed!” – New York Herald, 1872

“Short Haired Women and Long Haired Men.” – New York World, 1872

“Nothing More Than A Shameless Prostitute and A Negro.” – The Guard, Eugene Oregon, 1872

Told from shifting points-of-view and using actual news reportage from the era, Naked Truth is a riveting inside look into the struggle for women’s rights after the Civil War.

"Sometimes it is not enough to be the news, sometimes you have to make the news as well." –James Gordon Bennett, Jr., Proprietor of the New York Herald

Perfect for book clubs and fans of historical fiction.

My Review:

Sisters Tennessee and Victoria are a force to be reckoned with. They’re talented at the clairvoyant racket. They’re in need of money and put together a plan of seducing a very rich man. Little do they know, these sisters are about enter the world of politics complete with scandal, jealousy, passion, lies and the suffragist movement. Their ambition propels them forward and anyone standing in their way soon learn to get out of their way or they’ll get steam-rolled. But when treachery comes from within their family circle, their dirty laundry is hung out in the press for all to see. Can they make history and change the presidency, or will they crumble in defeat?

Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit is a brilliant telling of a part of women’s history no one talks about. Filled with historical people everyone remembers from history class (Frederick Douglas, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Cornelius Vanderbilt, just to name a few), Carrie Hayes adds such depth and humanity to these characters, they leap from the pages. The societal paradoxes these sisters deal with on a consistent basis are still common today. Women are viewed in a certain way and when they don’t fit the mold, they are labeled in negative stereotypes. Carrie Hayes carries the reader back in time with actual news articles and clippings. This added such vibrancy to the plot which I enjoyed immensely. The plot itself moved at a smooth pace with plenty of conflict and intrigue. The emotional subtext buried under the storylines gripped my heart. Such brave women and I applauded their every move. A mesmerizing emotional story every woman needs to read. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5 stars

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Author Biography:

Over the years, Carrie has tried a lot of things. She’s sold vacuum cleaners, annuities and sofas. She’s lived at the beach and she lived in Europe. She’s taught school and worked in film. For a while, she was an aspiring librarian, but she fell in love and threw her life away instead. Back in the States, she started over, and met an architect who said, “Why don’t you become a kitchen designer?” So, she did.

Eventually she designed interiors, too. And all that time, she was reading. What mattered was having something to read. Slowly, she realized her craving for books sprang from her need to know how things would turn out. Because in real life, you don’t know how things will turn out. But if you write it, you do. Naked Truth or Equality the Forbidden Fruit is her first book.

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Reviewed by: Mrs. N


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