The Widow's War.........
The Widow's War, written by Sally Gunning, is a historical novel that takes place in 1761, in Cape Cod, in the years just prior to the war of independence. In the first few pages of the book you will find the following quote:
"Now one of the most essential branches of English liberty is the freedom of one's house. A man's house is his castle; and whilst he is quiet, he [should be] as secure in his house as a prince in his castle.
Are not women born as free as men? Would it not be infamous to assert that the ladies are all slaves by nature?"
-James Otis (1725-1783)
The Widow's War is the story of Lyddie Berry. Lyddie's husband, Edward Berry, is a whaler who loses his life when his boat capsizes in the sea off of the coast of New England. As she struggles with her grief over the loss of her husband Lyddie finds herself in the same situation as many colonial women did. She finds out her property and rights have legally been given over to the nearest male relative. In Lyddie's case it is to her disdainful and bully of a son-in-law. However, the strong willed and courageous Lyddie refuses to except her situation. Instead she embarks on the biggest battle of her life, that of survival.
The widow's war is a story about race, gender, and class. It is about the pursuit of happiness and the refusal to give up control over one's own life. In the story Lyddie does the unheard of, and breaks all of societies norms, when she hires an attorney, breaks with her church, and becomes involved with an Indian.
The Widow's War is also a story about the harsh reality of daily life for women as they struggled to run their homes, take care of their families, and keep food on their tables in precarious colonial times.