Excerpt from A Woman’s Role

I’m happy to say that my novel A Woman’s Role will be released within the next few weeks. I’ve posted an excerpt from the book to give you a sense of how the story begins.

Pulling onto the street, she glanced at Duxbury’s Department Store. My God, I can’t believe I’ve been in that place for three years already. Celina shuddered at the image of herself standing amid ladies’ dresses and lingerie for years to come, nodding politely while the store’s overzealous manager, Earl Hartisty, issued orders. Thinking about it made her itchy all over.

Her mother thought that clerking at Duxbury’s was a suitable position for a young woman until she married and settled down with a young man from her own community and background, but Celina didn’t want to work at the store nor did she plan on settling down with just any local young man.

She drove down Kenville’s main street past a dozen small establishments. Their doors were flung open to welcome any stray breeze that passed by. Business was slow, but then business was always slow. One of the local coal mines had shut down, and another cut back to four days a week. She whispered, “Boga, God, there’s nothing here. Nothing.”

The stoic population trudged through the heat wave with uncompromising resolve, just as most of their ancestors had trudged through the unending drudgery on the farms and in the isolated villages of Galicia, in partitioned Poland. Men with calloused hands, wearing grimy work clothes and heavy boots shuffled around inside the hardware store as the proprietor, old Mr. Taylor, rang up the last few purchases of the day. There were no customers inside the Main Street drug store; the teen-aged clerk, who had been flipping through a magazine and spinning herself round and round on a blue soda-fountain stool, jumped up and pulled the front door closed.

Celina stepped on the gas and wished she were braver, at least as brave as her grandmother had been when she packed up her few belongings and emigrated from Eastern Europe sixty years earlier. Baba, grandma, got on that steam ship all by herself and left her home forever, and I can’t even get out of Duxbury’s.

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