A January 2014 MIBA Midwest Connections pick
"Exceptionally readable and highly recommended."
--"Library Journal" (starred review)
"Engaging first work from a writer of evident ability."
"Marian Elliot Adams'...tale is contagiously enthusiastic."
""Unmentionables" starts small and expands to touch Chicago and
war-torn France as Laurie Loewenstein weaves multiple points of
view together to create a narrative of social change and the
stubbornness of the human heart."
--"Black Heart Magazine"
"A historical, feminist romance in the positive senses of all three
terms: a realistic evocation of small-town America circa 1917,
including its racial tensions; a tale about standing up for the
equitable treatment of women; and a story about two lonely people
who overcome obstacles, including their own character defects, to
find love together."
--"Milwaukee Journal Sentinel"
"Laurie Loewenstein has written a simultaneously heartbreaking and
uplifting insight into our world as it was a century ago."
--Carnegie-Stout Public Library
""Unmentionables" is a sweeping and memorable story of struggle and
suffrage, love and redemption...Loewenstein has skilfully woven a
story and a cast of characters that will remain in the memory long
after the book's last page has been turned."
--New York Journal of Books
""Unmentionables" is a love story and a journey of
--Historical Novel Society
Marian Elliot Adams, an outspoken advocate for sensible
undergarments for women, sweeps onto the Chautauqua stage under a
brown canvas tent on a sweltering August night in 1917, and shocks
the gathered town of Emporia with her speech: How can women compete
with men in the work place and in life if they are confined by
their undergarments? The crowd is further appalled when Marian
falls off the stage and sprains her ankle, and is forced to remain
among them for a week. As the week passes, she throws into turmoil
the town's unspoken rules governing social order, women, and
Negroes. The recently widowed newspaper editor Deuce Garland, his
lapels glittering with fraternal pins, has always been a community
booster, his desire to conform rooted in a legacy of shame--his
great-grandfather married a black woman, and the town will never
let Deuce forget it, especially not his father-in-law, the owner of
the newspaper and Deuce's boss. Deuce and his father-in-law are
already at odds, since the old man refuses to allow Deuce's
stepdaughter, Helen, to go to Chicago to fight for women's
But Marian's arrival shatters Deuce's notions of what is
acceptable, versus what is right, and Deuce falls madly in love
with the tall activist from New York. During Marian's stay in
Emporia, Marian pushes Deuce to become a greater, braver, and more
dynamic man than he ever imagined was possible. He takes a stand
against his father-in-law by helping Helen escape to Chicago; and
he publishes an article exposing the county's oldest farm family as
the source of a recent typhoid outbreak, risking his livelihood and
reputation. Marian's journey takes her to the frozen mud of
France's Picardy region, just beyond the lines, to help destitute
villagers as the Great War rages on. Helen, in Chicago, is hired as
a streetcar conductor surrounded by bitter men who resent her
taking a man's job. Meanwhile, Deuce struggles to make a living and
find his place in Emporia's wider community after losing the
Marian is a powerful catalyst that forces nineteenth-century
Emporia into the twentieth century; but while she agitates for
enlightenment and justice, she has little time to consider her own
motives and her extreme loneliness. Marian, in the end, must decide
if she has the courage to face small-town life, and be known, or
continue to be a stranger always passing through.
|Country of origin:
||210 x 133mm (L x W)
Genre fiction >
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