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On Account of Conspicuous Women: A Novel
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On Account of Conspicuous Women: A Novel

3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Welcome to Roxboro, North Carolina, a crossroads hamlet where, in 1920, tobacco and bootleg liquor thrive and most folks seem to agree that women are meant to know their place. But four extraordinary, determined young ladies are about to leave their boot prints on this small Southern town, and nothing will ever be the same.

Bertie, a hello-girl for Wheeler’s Telephone Compa

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Aug 28, 2008 Mara rated it it was ok
Eh. This book had potential, but fell short. It's about four young women during the time of the ratification of the 19th amendment living in the south. Their stories took forever to truly merge, leaving the first half of the book a random smattering of information about each, none of which was exceptionally captivating. Even though the description of the characters was adequate, I still couldn't get a clear picture in my head. I just didn't really care about any of them. Too many things were goi ...more
Sep 07, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was ok
I liked this book while reading it, but when I finished, I asked myself "What was the point of that book?", and I couldn't find an answer. Aspects of Shamp's storytelling ability are first rate; she created interesting characters that I cared about and empathized with. However, I don't feel that she brought those characters to their full potential. The ending was disappointing in that way that makes you say "that's it?!". So only two stars for this one, but I will definitely give Shamp's work an ...more
Kathryn Wall
Jul 09, 2009 Kathryn Wall rated it it was ok
I liked the glimpse into rural NC in the 1920s. Thought it was a little slow and didn't really like the ending. I felt like she tried too hard but fell short. And what was up with Alta Ruth. I kept thinking something was going to happen with her, but we never got any insight into her character at all. I thought perhaps she's keeping that character for a future book?
Nov 08, 2008 Joselle173 rated it it was ok started out promising, but as time went on, the women got annoying and the story lost steam. Not all that great, but it does provide a slice of life in 1920 around the time when women got the vote.
Jan 27, 2009 Jenn rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2009
The story had so much potential, but didn't live up to it. I didn't like the way the book abruptly ended and left me with too many questions about what happened to the characters or where they were headed in their lives.
Feb 07, 2010 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
This is not my normal sort of book, but it was fun, fast, and I was lucky enough to meet the author, Dawn Shamp.

I probably liked best the 1920s, Roxboro, NC, setting. The author did a great job of putting you in that time and place, down to the smallest details. She also did a fantastic job of creating unique characters. I thought she could have fleshed them out more--I still didn't get a clear idea of Ina's relationship with Harlan, for example--and given them some more dimensions--Bertie's rea
Sep 25, 2008 Mel rated it really liked it
I read this book years ago. I'll have to check my book journal what I wrote about it. But through the years different parts of the book visit my thoughts and even just today I was thinking about this book. I suppose for a book to stay with me for such a long time in just random thoughts is a good thing and when I saw it listed on my friends tbr list I had to add further notes; when I saw it, oh yes, that's the name of the book I was thinking about this morning, and that time I was thinking of th ...more
Nov 14, 2008 Bonnie rated it really liked it
This is a delightful first novel by Dawn Shamp. I had a chance to hear Dawn talk about her book at The Country Bookshop. The book is set in Dawn's hometown of Roxboro, NC. Stories about her grandmother --and a picture she found of her grandmother pictured with three friends --gave Dawn the idea for this novel. You will love her four main characters --Bertie, Ina, Doodle and Guerine. I only hope she writes another book where we can hear more from these women.
Feb 01, 2012 Dee rated it liked it
A reasonably good book. But never quite got my adrenaline going. The time and subject matter was good. The 1920's, southern United States. Four women become friends, but hteir never quite developed to seem like real people. Dawn is a friend of one of my friends and I read it to be loyal. I'd give another book by her a chance.
Jan 12, 2009 Lori rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes depression era lit.
This was a good book, followed the lives of 4 women in one town during the Depression and Women's Rights Movement. Their lives intertwined, and the author showed how each of the women affected the others with her beliefs, actions, etc. This book makes me want to read more historical books on the Women's Rights Movement and its founders.
Apr 20, 2009 Martha rated it did not like it
I'm having a really good time reading this book set in Roxboro, Person Co., NC. Although the author is not from there she has a really good feel for the town in the 1920s and for the common surnames in the area. It's a fun read about four women setting the town on edge.

In the end, I thought this book was just silly and not very believable, particularly the attempts to cure racial ills.
Sep 16, 2008 Megan.nelson rated it it was ok
I would actually give this book 2.5 stars. I liked the idea of writing about the woman's suffrage movement and the writing was decent, but overall the story was boring. I did finish the book, which says something because my patience for bad literature is getting shorter.
Dec 23, 2013 Lynelle rated it it was amazing
excellent novel. dawn shamp certainly "has a way with words". i would love to see this movie - or better yet a series - historical fiction is so big right now. even though i thought the book ended somewhat abruptly, it was a good ending, and definitely leaves it open for a sequel.
Feb 08, 2016 Paula rated it it was amazing
I see this has poor ratings - perhaps the Southern culture and a touch of dialect. But personally I loved a snapshot into the white women who fought for suffrage and education, for themselves and African Americans. Besides, it was really fun reading.
May 21, 2008 Krista rated it liked it
This was an entertaining book for me, but mainly bc it was set in my hometown - an small, most have never heard of town. Some of the landmarks and last names were very familiar. Not sure that I would've like it so much otherwise.
Jul 18, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Hurray for conspicuous women!
Jan 02, 2011 Brenda rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It is about 4 young women in a small southern town in the early 1920's. Lot's of changes in the world and in their young lives.
Dec 08, 2008 Kathryn rated it did not like it
Shelves: never-finished
Not as interesting as it seemed. The dialogue sounded forced and the characters just didn't feel real to me. Never finished it.
Aug 09, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it
Good characters, lots of 1920s historical details
Linda Robertson
Sep 09, 2015 Linda Robertson rated it liked it
wondered while I read about my own relatives that were from northern NC and southern virginia
Jun 20, 2009 Kiersten rated it liked it
Not a bad little read. Interesting characters.
Sep 13, 2008 Leslie rated it really liked it
Great story and a very quick read!
Elisha (lishie)
May 05, 2008 Elisha (lishie) rated it liked it
All in all I enjoyed the story, the setting, time period and the characters.
Aug 20, 2008 Denice rated it liked it
The slang of the day is fun to read. Also a nice reminder of the difference one individual can make in the lives of others.
Verna Austen
Aug 15, 2008 Verna Austen rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I was lucky to be in workship with this talented writer and love this book. Weaving four characters into a seamless narrative Dawn Shamp is a true storyteller. Can't wait for her second book!
Jun 20, 2008 Deby rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2012 Melee rated it liked it
I have no complaints to give in explanation of why I didn't give this a higher rating. It was good, we just never "clicked".
Mar 04, 2011 Joanna rated it it was ok
Disappointing. The first half drags horribly. I really wanted to like another NC author.
Oct 05, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed the pictures of life from different women's perspectives
Kitty Tomlinson
Historical fiction set in North Carolina in the 1920s. Draws you into the woman's suffrage movement and the lives of 4 women who become fast friends: Bertie, Gerine, Ina & Doodle. Very enjoyable.
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