Voting Day, a novel

by Clare O'Dea


On February 1, 1959, Swiss men voted no to women's suffrage. My novel tells the story of that day from the point of view of four Swiss women - Vreni, Margrit, Esther and Beatrice.

CHF 10’146

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The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

117 backers

Successfully concluded on 22/12/2020

Four women in 1959

In 2021, Switzerland will celebrate 50 years of women’s right to vote. But there was another important date in the history of women’s voting rights – February 1st, 1959 – the day the men said no. My historical novel, Voting Day, which takes place over the course of this day, tells the story of four women whose lives are connected by the fate of a foster child. While the men go out to vote, the women have other things on their minds – mostly. Vreni (48) is a farmer’s wife and foster mother with grown-up children and abandoned dreams. Her daughter Margrit (23) seems to have found success as an office girl in Bern but suddenly finds herself in an impossible position with her boss. Esther (30), a Yenish single mother who was taken from her family as a child, works as a hospital cleaner. Now that her own son Ruedi has been taken into care, the future looks bleak. Esther’s boss Beatrice (61) has made a good career as the hospital administrator. She dreads the prospect of a no vote after putting her heart and soul into the yes campaign. Find out how the lives of these women connect and change on this fateful day.

Why this novel?

The inspiration for this book is all around. The older generation in Switzerland grew up in a country where women were denied the right to vote. As a journalist, I listened to the stories of many marginalised people from this era and got a deeper understanding of the challenges they faced. In my novel, Voting Day, I have created four characters from 1959 – four women with emotions, faults, hopes and dreams, just like you and me. These women were not simply victims; they showed resilience and initiative as they dealt with complex situations. Vreni, Margrit, Esther and Beatrice have a lot to share with you. What makes my project unique is the multilingual aspect of it. I wrote the novel in English but it’s really meant for Swiss readers. With your support it will be possible to have the book translated into German, French and Italian and to publish the four language versions together. In this way, readers in my second homeland will be able to join me and the four women on this journey back in time.

Why I need your support

I am dependent on your support to help my book reach the widest possible readership in Switzerland. Publishing a book in four languages is a major challenge. I look forward to having you on board with me as we embark on this adventure.
By participating in this crowdfunding, you can carry this project to the finish line. I would be delighted, with your help, to be able to contribute something special to Swiss literature by publishing my novel about four women in four languages next February.