Duke Southard

Author, Educator, Lecturer

Abused women in fiction

In March, I spoke to a large group of book club members, all of whom had read my latest novel, Cracks in the Wall.

After the program, a woman approached me and informed me that she “didn’t like any of the women in the book.” She went on to explain that she thought they were weak and should have shown more backbone when dealing with the men who exploited them. That conversation stimulated my thinking about the female characters in the book, especially the protagonist, Linda Phillips.

Since the character is based on research I’ve done into spousal abuse and on knowledge of some real-life situations, I thought Linda’s actions were quite authentic for someone in her situation. Fear for one’s safety and the safety of children in a household can overwhelm even the most courageous of women, which is exactly what happens to Linda.

I wonder if there are any women (or men) who have read the book who might offer an opinion on this subject. Was Linda Phillips real? Did she react to her situation in a believable way?

Thanks for any comments!


6 Responses to Abused women in fiction

    • Cracks in the Wall may be purchased at Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book. It is also available at Country Booksellers in Wolfeboro and can be ordered through any bookstore.

  • jim says:

    I dated an abused woman that told me, If I leave him “he will kill me” and she also told many of her friends and family the same thing. Sure enough the day before the appeals court date she was found at room temp. by her little kids. The worst thing about the whole experience was that she knew it would happen and she also knew “he” would get away w/it. When a woman says, “he” will kill me. Believe her, he really will and unless she is prepared to kill him first, tell her to stay put. Another thing, vengeance is mine, said the lord. My friends killer is safe with me, he has gotten away with it.

    • Wayne says:

      OK, but why did she have 5 children with him? Why did she not take advantage of all the help available for abused women? Why did she go on a family day trip with him while the restraining order was in place?

      Sorry Jim, but you were the rebound relationship not her soul mate. That should have been clear to you the night you saw Stacey and another man together, one day before she was killed. I believe you are innocent but seriously stop telling yourself you were more than that. It makes you look guilty as Hell.

  • jim says:

    That trip you mentioned, it ended with a ride through the Maine woods where Stacey was reminded how easy it would be for her to disappear forever. Some real quality family time for the Burns.

  • van says:

    I met a woman late last year who said she had just gotten out of prison. 27+ years earlier she was being beaten with a hammer by her boyfriend. She grabbed his gun from the kitchen table and shot him. Dead. She served 27 years. What in the name of all that is holy can one do to deserve being beaten with a hammer?

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I'm Duke Southard, author, educator, and lecturer.

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