ON writing A WOMAN’S ROLE: A 1950s ROMANCE
Flip through any fashion magazine and you’ll find updated versions of the suits, dresses, and skirts that graced the bodies of stars like Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. Up-to-the-minute restaurants are fantastic, but those everyday eateries called diners, with their perky waitresses, steaming coffee, and wedges of pie may be fewer in number, but they’ve never gone out of style.
Right here in Robinson Township we have an icon of the 1950s, the Twin Highway Drive-in Theater where cars line up to experience the big screen nostalgia. And the music—whether you appreciated rock and roll or the sound of a polka band, the tunes are, even now, loved by thousands if not millions of people.
The idea for A Woman’s Role took form when I noticed that I’d read excellent historical romances, about ethnic groups from around the world but none with a Polish-American as the main character. I asked, “Why not”? I felt it was time to highlight the grit and perseverance of one of America’s great immigrant groups.
A story needed told, and I would tell it. I fully believe readers will enjoy getting to know the main character, Celina, along with her family and friends. The story lets us into their lives and how their personalities are affected by the life force of the decade. Issues like politics, social structure, desire for conformity, and women’s lack of career opportunities set the stage for many of their actions—romance, women’s issues, mother/daughter relationships, family dynamics, and friendships.
The story’s background is typical of small coal mining communities in central Pennsylvania during the 1950s. Most people shopped at a single department store, a small grocery, a hardware store, and feed mill. And a bank stood in the middle of Main Street. It is here in Kenville where Celina Pasniewski determines that it’s time to assert herself as a person with hopes, dreams, and desires of her own.
It is here that she runs into resistance from her family, her employer, and society at large. Inadvertently, we stumble upon the first signs of a discontent flowing through the very core of American women across the country, when they tire of being pert little secretaries, and underpaid store clerks, teachers and nurses. They want more for their labors.
We can relate to Celina even though, at times, she has been called stubborn and wrong-headed. We could describe her as the irresistible force that meets the immoveable object as she strives to break with the coal mining tradition of her Polish-American family and find a life and love of her own. She wants to be the daughter her parents’ desire, but she also wants a career in journalism, a college education, and she has her own reasons for refusing to marry a man who works underground in a coal mine. Tension rises for Celina in a decade when few women challenged the duel pressures of traditional culture and family. Ultimately, she will have life-altering decisions to make.
Carol Moessinger is the author of A Woman’s Role, a heartwarming romance set in the transitional decade of the 1950s. As a former social worker and counselor, she sets out to reveal the dynamics between the individual, family, and society when forces beyond an individual’s control intrude on one’s hopes and dreams. Visit Carol’s website at http://www.carolmoessinger-historicromance.com, or her blog at https://pcmoes.wordpress.com. A Woman’s Role is available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other outlets.
What do you believe the 1950s were really like?