Book Review: Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work

Aunt Jane's Nieces at Work by Edith Van Dyne
Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work (Aunt Jane’s Nieces, #4) 
by Edith Van Dyne (Pseudonym)L. Frank Baum


3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads
In this fourth book in the series, Kenneth is getting involved in politics and is sadly losing the election to become a State Representative. The three nieces decide to help him in his campaign, and they fight against dirty politicians, ignorant country voters, and shady political dealings that threaten to overwhelm the campaign. Along the way, they befriend the country people, and help a farmer to find his missing daughter.

I get bored with politics, so I didn’t especially enjoy the plot, but I liked how the mysteries were surprising and interesting. I loved how the girls help Kenneth to set up a rally that throws their opponent’s arguments out the door, how they discover the underhanded political deals, and they aid in solving the mystery of the missing farmer’s daughter.
There is some sexism in this book, but it would have been considered very progressive for its time. At the time, women could not vote in the USA, and it was frowned upon to have women involved in politics in any way. There is a lot of anxiety that the nieces will expose themselves to ridicule, but they plow ahead anyway, forming a political women’s society, and canvassing around the neighborhoods to talk to wives about how their husbands should vote.

There are several instances where the men say something about how “a woman should know her place”, but the nieces just go skipping along with their plans, and prove that they are more clever and formidable than they are ever given credit for. The brilliant Kenneth naturally realizes that he would be nowhere without the efforts of the girls on his behalf, and he praises and thanks them for their capable management of his campaign.

As always, I like the fresh and simple writing style, and of course, I am delighted with the sweet characters.

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