Author Linda K. Sienkiewicz visits today with an excerpt and character interview from her debut novel, In the Context of Love, for today’s Eggcerpt Exchange.
In In the Context of Love, Angelica Schirrick wonders how her life could have gone so far off-track. She remembers her forbidden high school romance with Joe Vadas, the son of Hungarian immigrants. Scandal tore them apart, Joe disappeared, and she’s spent years trying to recover from the split. Shortly after, a devastating family secret shattered her sense of self, leading to a multitude of bad choices that include marrying a man with a missing finger and secrets of his own. She leaves her husband and, with two children in tow, begins a journey of self-discovery that leads her back home to Ohio. She must find a way to put the past to rest before she can be open to life and a second chance at love. And what if Joe returns? Will he help her or tear her family further apart?
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.”
Eggcerpt from In the Context of Love:
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.
Here’s an interview with Angelica Schirrick, the narrator of In the Context of Love:
What is your birthdate?
I came screaming into this world on June 30, 1958, delivered by a midwife, Rose Rumble, at my great aunt’s farm in Wisconsin.
Do you have a nickname?
People have called me troublemaker, short stuff, hot stuff, cupcake (by my dad) Angel, hure (by my wicked German grandmother — don’t ask why), but most people call me Angie.
What’s your level of schooling?
I should say the School of Hard Knocks, but actually, I have an associate’s degree.
What is your job?
I’m proud to say I’ve worked my way up to be the marketing and community service director for Safe Harbor, a non-profit women’s domestic violence shelter in Cleveland Ohio.
What is your most important goal?
To see my two children grow up to be happy and well-adjusted, despite having a felon for a father.
Author Linda K. Sienkiewicz attributes her creative drive to her artistic mother, who taught her to sew, and her father, who let her monkey around with the gadgets in his workshop. Her poetry, short stories and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals. She has a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press and an MFA from The University of Southern Maine.
Find her online at: