Friday, June 9, 2017

Tricia Dower - Becoming Lin - Review & Giveaway

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.

My Review

"Gender is the single most important factor in attitudes toward the use of military force."

So says the thesis of pastor's wife / college student, Lin Brunson. But her undergrad independent study project turns into a whole lot more than she bargains for when she starts handing out surveys to the women in her husband's congregation. They stir up a whole hornet's nest of questions including: Why not use the huge chunk of federal funds earmarked for war and allocate it for women and children's services instead?

But the ladies are quickly silenced when a veteran among them voices aloud that no one can deny the type of bond that forms between men serving in combat, guys who are willing to risk their lives for one another. In his mind, a woman just can't understand what that means to guys like him.

So the question is rephrased: "Do men get saddled with war and women childbirth in some cosmic balancing act?"

And Lin doesn't stop there. She starts marching in rallies for peace as well as sheltering draft dodgers in her home, on their way to Canada. But when she starts getting threatening letters in the mail saying, "Beware traitor," she begins having second thoughts. The exhilaration she felt at speaking out about the war soon turns into a sickening dread.

So much so that her marriage breaks apart and she ends up on her own as a single mom, trying to make ends meet. But she keeps crusading, taking on the upper levels of management and bringing to their attention the lack of women executives, not to mention minorities. When the company tries to stonewall her, a fellow female employee congratulates her, "You must be doing something right. Somebody's looking to shut you up."

This quiet, little mouse of a woman turns into a mighty crusader. Lin starts calling the shots of her own life, and it's inspiring to journey with her through the growing pains of her transformation.


Becoming Lin can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble
Midpoint Trade

Prices/Formats: $12.99 ebook, $22.95 paperback
Genre: Women's Fiction, Historical, Coming of Age
Pages: 240
Release: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Caitlin Press
ISBN: 9781987915075
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


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 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:
Web Site

About the Giveaway

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  1. Thanks for reading and reviewing Becoming Lin. I like the aspects of it you focused on.

  2. I loved Stony River! I am anxious to read Becoming Lin as it follows a very interesting child character from Stony River in to adulthood.

    1. Thanks, Tracy! Glad to have your support.