Fiction •  Politics and Women

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The Vote: A Novel

Sybil Downing

"A provocative reminder of how hard American women had to fight for their rights. . . . Well-researched and elegantly written, this powerful narrative should be read by everyone, women and men."--Kate Lehrer, author of Confessions of a Bigamist

". . . a gripping story that brings history to life."--Margaret Coel, author of The Drowning Man

The year is 1918. The issue is passing the 19th amendment to the Constitution. Kate Brennan, a sheltered upper-class college graduate, is mistakenly arrested when she goes to the aid of suffragists being attacked in front of the White House during a peaceful rally. Galvanized by her fourteen-day sentence in the Occoquan workhouse, she becomes a passionate supporter of the National Woman's Party.

Kate works with Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, actual historical leaders of the Party. She falls in love with a man who may or may not sympathize with her cause. When the fight takes her to Colorado, she joins forces with Mary Daly, an intrepid union leader, and literally puts her life on the line for the vote.


Sybil Downing is the award-winning author of numerous books, including Fire in the Hole, Ladies of the Goldfield Stock Exchange, and The Binding Oath. A fourth generation Coloradan, she has held state and local office. She and her husband live in Boulder, Colorado. Visit her website at


"Thorough research coupled with a taut story line makes The Vote a compelling story."


Rocky Mountain News

"A gripping story that brings history to life."


Margaret Coel, author of The Drowning Man

"... a must read, not only for those interested in women's rights, but as a reminder to all of us how important it is to exercise the right to vote."


Boulder Daily Camera

"...a fascinating adventure....Downing aptly blends real life struggles and accomplishments (of the suffragists). Downing's intimate knowledge of the political process also strengthens this book."


The Denver Post

6 x 9 in. 296 pages