About the Book
It’s 1965. Twenty-two-year-old Linda Wise despairs of escaping her overprotective parents and the town of Stony River where far too many know she was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Deliverance arrives in the form of marriage to the charismatic, twenty-six-year-old Ronald Brunson, a newly ordained Methodist minister who ignites in her a dormant passion for social justice. He tells her war and racial discrimination are symptoms of the “moral rot” destroying the country, conjuring up something dark and rancid in her mind, thrilling in its wickedness. He sweeps her away from New Jersey to serve with him at a church in a speck-on-the-map prairie town in Minnesota. What lies ahead for her over the next seven years is the subject of Tricia Dower’s penetrating study of a marriage and a woman’s evolving sense of self as she confronts the fear that keeps her from an unfettered future. Becoming Lin conjures the turbulent era of Freedom Riders for civil rights, Vietnam war resistance, the US government’s war against the resisters, the push for equal rights for women and the unraveling of the traditional marriage contract—an era that resonates today in tenacious racism and sexism, perpetual war and wide-reaching government surveillance.
Lin Brunson finds herself pregnant during the height of the Vietnam War, and for a moment she can't help thinking to herself, "We can't bring another child into this violent world."
Picture it. The country is in shock. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy are dead. A hundred cities are still recovering from a fresh string of riots and not even Walter Cronkite believes in the war anymore.
Yet Lin Brunson takes it very much to heart. For this mom-to-be, the war is not just images on a TV screen. It's personal. And it becomes even more complicated for her since she's married to a pastor, and his church seems just as divided as the rest of the country.
But that's what her husband, Ron, finds her so intriguing about his wife. He tells her, "How you see the world, what you believe, what's happened to you and how it's affected you? I want to know all that."
It turns out Ron's a former Freedom Fighter, himself, and was even arrested down South for helping to register African Americans to vote. He's no stranger to standing up for what he believes in, and he admires that quality in Lin, even from the very first time they met, openly admitting to her, "What struck me was your spirit. A voice inside me said that is the girl I'm going to marry."
Yet preachers and politicians tend to oversimplify complex issues, and the strain begins to show in their marriage when their phones are tapped and their friends start disappearing. Things are different now that they have a child. The risks they're taking don't just affect them anymore, they have a little one to think about now.
Stressed, Lin tells Ron, "I married you under false pretenses, I wasn't mature enough to accept your proposal." But he quickly counters with something his mother told him about her, "God sent this woman to you. Keep praying until you understand why."
Are they able to work things out as a family? Well, for me, this particular quote from the book sums it up beautifully: "You forget that you are eternal. He has always been with you and always will be."
Becoming Lin can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble
Prices/Formats: $12.99 ebook, $22.95 paperback
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical, Coming of Age
Release: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Caitlin Press
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About the Author
Tricia Dower hails from Rahway, New Jersey. You can find her on the “Rahway’s Own” website with other individuals the town has recognized for innovation and creativity. A graduate of Gettysburg College and a Phi Mu, she built a career in business before reinventing herself as a writer in 2002. Her literary work has crossed borders and won awards. She expanded a story from her Shakespeare-inspired collection, Silent Girl (Inanna 2008) into Stony River, which was published in both Canada (Penguin 2012) and the US (Leapfrog 2016). She gave a character from Stony River her own novel in Becoming Lin (Caitlin Press 2016), now available in the US.
The Vancouver Sun says, “Some of the most powerful and eloquent novelists of the 20th and 21st centuries…including Margaret Atwood, Margaret Laurence and Ethel Wilson...open up what had been cloaked in silence, the oppression of women and their self-discoveries in resistance. We can now add to this important liberation canon the name of Tricia Dower.”
A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Dower lives and writes in Brentwood Bay, BC.
Links to connect with Tricia:
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