Award-winning author Linda K. Sienkiewicz writes women’s fiction/contemporary romance, and she’s here for today’s #EggCerptExchange post sharing from her debut novel, In the Context of Love, winner of an Honorable Mention from the Great Midwest Book Festival.
About the book:
What makes us step back to examine the events and people that have shaped our lives? And what happens when what we discover leads to more questions? In the Context of Love revolves around the journey of Angelica Schirrick as she reevaluates her life, and its direction.
Returning with her children from their first visit with her now imprisoned husband, she tries to figure out where it all went so wrong. Can she face the failures and secrets of her past and move forward? Can she find love and purpose again? Her future, which once held so much promise, crumbled like dust after the mysterious disappearance of her first love, and the shattering revelation that derailed her life, and divided her parents. Only when she finally learns to accept the violence of her beginning can she be open to life again, and maybe to a second chance at love.
Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean, says: “With humor and tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.”
Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of Michigan Notable Book, Mothers Tell Your Daughters, says “Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. It should be required reading for all wayward daughters, and their mothers, too.”
At the age of twelve, hormones exploded from my pituitary glands like a pipe bomb. My first period started at school. The streak of blood panicked me, but then I felt full of pride and somehow wise. I wondered if anyone could tell if I carried an odor or walked differently. I wanted others to know and I didn’t.
I grew breasts overnight. I wasn’t sure how to carry those new accessories, two tender burdens to protect from boys’ stares and elbows in the hallways. Adolescent girls are envious of anything they don’t have, and rumors that I stuffed my bra with tissues, or I was “asking for it” floated around the middle school. It was always about sex. Every girl was judged by her walk, her talk, the way she chewed her gum, the color of her lipstick, the length of her skirt, how dirty or clean her hair was, the way she sat—trying to keep it straight was exhausting. A girl could end up with a bad reputation for no other reason than her body developed faster than the others.
I don’t recall how my friends and I got our clammy hands on The Sensuous Woman, a paperback so explicit that the author didn’t disclose her real name, but the text was far more enlightening than the dime store romances we paged through for the sex scenes (“Ashton crushed Millicent’s white bosoms to his bare chest in a brutal embrace.”) We passed it around more than a few times. I stayed up late, studying “how to please your man,” although some maneuvers, such as the “Hoover,” made me squeamish. Back then, the thought of putting a boy’s dick in my mouth was nasty enough, much less sucking it. Understanding how a woman faked an orgasm wasn’t clear, either. If I didn’t know what it was like, how could I fake one? And why would I?
By the time I was thirteen men were turning their heads to watch me pass. I’ll never forget the day Mom and I were walking to the library when a group of boys whistled and hooted at me as they drove past. You’d have thought they were firing a shotgun out the window of their car by the way she jumped. She gripped me by the elbow and hurried me along. “Don’t walk that way,” she said, uncharacteristic sternness in her voice as if I had done something wrong.
A bit about spunky Angelica, the narrator of this #EggcerptExchange book, In the Context of Love:
- When were you born?
I came screaming into this world on June 30, 1958, weighing a mere 6 pounds and 5 ounces.
- Where were you born?
I was delivered by midwife Rose Rumble at my great aunt’s farm in Wisconsin. My mother, since she wasn’t married, was supposed to give me up for adoption. It’s a long story, but I’m glad she didn’t.
- Where do you live?
In the heart of the Midwest: Cleveland, Ohio, where summer is short and hot and winter lasts forever. It can snow here even after the dogwoods blossom.
- Who is your significant other?
The “Gypsy King” aka Hungarian heartthrob Joe (Jozsef) Vadas is my first and only love. I knew it from the moment I backed my chair into him and almost made him lose his lunch in the Huggs High School cafeteria.
- What was the hardest moment in your life?
The worst was the day I learned the shocking story about my mother and me. I always knew there was something about our family that didn’t quite fit. Anyway, it changed the way I viewed myself and the world around me. It took a long time to recover.
Buy In the Context of Love in paperback or e-reader:
About the author:
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is published poet and fiction writer, a cynical optimist, a fan of corgis, a tea drinker and wine lover from Michigan. Her short stories and poetry have been published in more than fifty literary journals and anthologies. She has a poetry chapbook award, a Pushcart Prize Nomination, and an MFA from The University of Southern Maine. IN THE CONTEXT OF LOVE is her debut novel.
Twitter @LindaKSienkwicz https://twitter.com/LindaKSienkwicz
Images: #EggCerptExchange logo, Tina Gayle, all others, Linda K. Sienkiewica