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!

Duke

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

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