Jan 10, 2015

Audacity by Melanie Crowder

The inspiring story of Clara Lemlich, whose fight for equal rights led to the largest strike by women in American history

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power, Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan's Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.

Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.


Audacity is a novel based on the life of Clara Lemlich. Clara's family is Jewish which in their family means that the men study all day and the women have to work. They are not supposed to want to gather knowledge. Secretly Clara teaches herself the Russian language and she reads a lot of books. When her father finds out he's furious, but that's the least of their problems as being a Jew in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century isn't safe. Clara and her family have to leave the country and after a long and difficult journey they arrive in New York. Clara's hoping to find her freedom, but instead she has to work in one of the clothing factories. The conditions are terrible, but she has to provide for her family, without her they would starve as her father and brothers keep studying and her mother can't find any work. Clara finds a way to continue her education and when she learns English she also starts to speak up. She joins the union and she's prepared to fight and take plenty of insults and beatings for the women who work in the same horrible conditions. She eventually convinces a lot of these women to go on strike, which leads to an enormous uprising. 
Clara is bright and strong. She's stubborn and she risks quite a few beatings to get what she wants from life. Her dream is to become a doctor, she's even been offered a place at medical school, but instead she chooses to stand up for thousands of women who have been working in very bad circumstances in the factories. I loved the headstrong girl who never gives up, she's fantastic. Melanie Crowder's writing style is beautiful, the free verse is the perfect medium to express Clara's feelings and for the reader to feel with her, it's poetic and it suits the story so well. I enjoyed reading every single word. Audacity is an amazing story and the writing enhances the importance of Clara Lemlich, her character, her ideas and her opinions. I loved this brilliant story about a woman I greatly admire.

I would like to thank the publisher for my copy of this fantastic book.

1 comment:

  1. Wow sounds amazing. Very strong storyline.


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