Book Club at the MFA: Old Baggage
In 2020, the Book Club at the MFA joins in the national celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women in the US the right to vote. Join us for an exciting monthly reading and discussion centered on topical issues and themes universal to all: empowerment, artistic and creative excellence, and the push for equality for all.
April’s selection is Old Baggage by Lissa Evans. The author of the acclaimed Crooked Heart returns with a comic, charming, and surprisingly timely portrait of a once pioneering suffragette trying to find her new passion in post-WWI era London.
1928: Riffling through a cupboard, Matilda Simpkin comes across a small wooden club—an old possession that she hasn’t seen for more than a decade. Immediately, memories come flooding back to Mattie—memories of a thrilling past, which only further serve to remind her of her chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign, she was a militant who was jailed five times and never missed an opportunity to return to the fray. Now in middle age, the closest she gets to the excitement of her old life is the occasional lecture on the legacy of the militant movement.
After running into an old suffragette comrade who has committed herself to the wave of Fascism, Mattie realizes there is a new cause she needs to fight for and turns her focus to a new generation of women. Thus the Amazons are formed, a group created to give girls a place to not only exercise their bodies but their minds, and ignite in young women a much-needed interest in the world around them.
Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never given up the fight and the young women who are just discovering it.
Free with Admission, $10 on Thursdays after 5 pm