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Sussex Countian
  • New novel 'Holy Day' revisits women's feminism movement

  • There was a significant bargain that many married women during the 1950s made with their husband.
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  • There was a significant bargain that many married women during the 1950s made with their husband.
    The wife would stay home and watch the children, while her husband would go to work and support the family financially.
    This concept began to wane during the 1960s and 1970s as a result of the women's liberation movement, wherein females pushed to gain more independence by attending college and attaining employment.
    Milton author Anne Colwell introduces the impact of what happened when some women who married in the 1950s were introduced to the women's liberation movement in the 1960s in her upcoming fiction novel, "Holy Day." The book tells this story through the eyes of a middle-aged, middle-class Catholic wife and mother named Maxine who'll make a decision she regrets on a holy day in 1969 (a holy day is a sacred day to the Catholic church in which the faithful are obligated to attend mass and not go to work).
    "Holy Day" doesn't have a release date just yet, as Colwell is currently looking for an agent to help her push the book.
    Q Of the approximate 30 women you interviewed, you said about half of them decided to leave their husbands after encountering the women's feminism movement. What were many of their reasons for leaving?
    A I think for many of them it was the fact that they felt their marriages had been based on a foundation of expectations that they could no longer uphold. For example, a couple of women that I talked to said that they wanted to go to work and their husbands were against it. They wanted to have their own careers as their children got older, but their husbands felt it was a slap. That was a pretty common reason.
    Q What were some of the reasons why the other half of women decided to stay with their husbands?
    A Several of the women that emailed me were almost angry because they believed their bargain was a good bargain in that the instability in the American family had its roots around 1969. What happens to the kids if all the women have to work? They rejected this.
    Q What do you want "Holy Day" to accomplish?
    A I really hope it's a book that looks at what it meant to be a wife and a mom, and to be Maxine in 1969, and the difficulties of being in that generation.

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