Skip to main content

Alice + Freda Forever

Review

Alice + Freda Forever

The topic of same sex marriage is one that has been debated for centuries. Is it unnatural? Is being in love with someone of the same sex really a sign of mental impropriety? Fortunately, we live in a society in which most people would say no, it's definitely natural and not a sign of loose screws. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Alice Mitchell and Freda Ward in 1892 Memphis, Tennessee. They lived in a world in which proper women were expected to exhibit domestic tranquility and obedience to men. The thought of two independent women marrying and attempting to build a life together perplexed their society to such an extent that murder could not even distract them from the puzzle. 

On January 25th, 1892, Alice Mitchell slashed Freda Ward's neck as she was getting on a boat headed toward home. Why? Because she loved Freda and could not stand the thought of her with anyone else. Insane, right? Ending someone's life out of "love" is just about as crazy as it gets. However, this wasn't the part of the ordeal that people found senseless. It was the fact that Alice Mitchell, a member of an upstanding Memphis family, had the audacity to fall in love a woman. Surely, she must have been mad.

Whether you're looking to educate yourself about the moral evolution of the United States in terms of LGBTQ themes or you're just looking for a story about forbidden love and crimes of passion, you should absolutely pick up this book.

Alexis Coe's ALICE + FREDA FOREVER: A Murder in Memphis beautifully recounts this story of forbidden love gone horribly wrong. I had never heard of this murder before reading the book, which is probably the most accessible source to learn about it from. The book seemed authentic and well-researched, and although it recounts true historical events, it was extremely interesting and readable. At no point did I feel like I was reading a text book. I also really enjoyed the pictures in ALICE + FREDA FOREVER. They added a fun layer to the story and allowed the reader to get a better image of what the author meant. The book itself is very pretty and would make a beautiful addition to any shelf, both in aesthetics and in content.

All in all, this was a solid, insightful and entertaining read. Whether you're looking to educate yourself about the moral evolution of the United States in terms of LGBTQ themes or you're just looking for a story about forbidden love and crimes of passion, you should absolutely pick up this book.

Reviewed by Cheritta J., Teen Board Member on December 10, 2014

Alice + Freda Forever
by Alexis Coe

  • Publication Date: October 7, 2014
  • Genres: Historical Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Pulp/Zest Books
  • ISBN-10: 1936976609
  • ISBN-13: 9781936976607