The sudden loss of her job in a museum, which she'd hoped might eventually lead her into her chosen field, forces a decision which soon proves to be the wrong one. Meanwhile, Cousin Weezy, who was to have shared Del's apartment, has worked out what to Del is a shocking relationship--she has agreed to accept a "patron" to help her realize her own dream of becoming an author. Overwhelming problems arise from the decision. To begin with, the patron is Jewish, shocking to her Boston family. Added to that, Weezy joins a group of young women in a fascinating place called Belle Turrets, where men are allowed in the women's rooms in return for helping to support the young wannabe artists, dancers, performers, and opera singers.
Of course Weezy's proper Bostonian family soon learns of all this, and all hell breaks loose. Weezy and Del are both in despair--until help comes from an unexpected source. In one memorable night on the shores of Lake Michigan, events explode and solutions appear.
A coming-of-age story, Petoskey Stones takes the reader into the post- WWII world where women were coping with the media campaign to put Rosy the Riveter back to the kitchen, and were trying to find a wider place in a society where men had once again become the dominant sex.
This book received the designation of Editor's Choice from iUniverse.
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In the second and third generation of women who grew up in the house called Stormland, there is much dysfunction. Rebellious Della Eloise, or Weezy, the grandchild of young Edgar, had been kidnapped away from the family by her mother and resents the fact. Cousin Del had fled a mother-arranged marriage to go and work in New York. The cousins meet on a train and travel together to a family reunion in Michigan where they both struggle to come to terms with family problems and reintegrate with their roots. Was Weezy wrong to rebel against her mother and seek out her birth father? Was Edgar indeed the black sheep of the family, a man to be avoided? Or did she need to find her way out of her proper Bostonian upbringing and return to the free-spirited man who'd loved her mother? Did her cousin Del need to come to terms with the marriage approved by her family, or should she elope with the glamorous and exotic folk dancer with whom, according to her mother, she was "off the deep end?"
In the fast-paced world of career life in New York City, both women struggle to come to terms with their dilemmas,one seeking more or less conventional solutions, the other continuing to rebel and attempt to find a more unique direction. And their problems take a whole new direction when they discover that their parents too are wrestling with this type of problem, still coping with their rebellions against the social niceties of their own parents.
World War II is finally over and woman's role in society has undergone a drastic change. Women during wartime have learned how it feels to have their own jobs, their own income. They are no longer willing to depend on men's good nature to give them spending money. Yet around them, everyone from employers to media are trying to convince them to go back to the kitchen.
Delia Kingsley confronts a new marriage with a man she does not love, a man her mother considers ideal and eminently suitable for her, a stable man with a rising career as organist and choirmaster of one of New York's larger churches. As a wannabe archeologist, Del is not really eager to be married at all, but the biological clock is ticking, and no more is she eager to be a spinster--ignominious in that day and age. Her only alternative is a glamorous folk dancer who is clearly not the marrying type.
On a lovely spring morning in Boston in 1948, Della Eloise Ward, known as Weezy, gravely discarded every part of the life she'd led. Her writings, notebooks, papers, even her diary went into the trashcan. Cuturier clothing was put out for Goodwill. She kept only two blouses, a sweater, and a skirt, along with a plain black dress suitable for the funeral of her putative father, Jonathan Ward.
A tall, slender young woman with brown hair in a smooth pageboy, Weezy stood by the pile of trash at the curb and dumped things in the container. Summoned home from college just three days before her graduation ceremony due to the sudden death of the man she'd always believed to be her father, she'd never dreamed she might arrive to learn that Jonathan Ward was no blood kin to her. True, in grade school she'd been teased by a bully who claimed she was adopted, but she'd assumed he was making it up.
Her mother hurried from the house, paused on the sidewalk, and surveyed the mountain of discards. She stood finger-combing her brown hair, so like her daughter's. Grace Hannaford Ward had retained through the years the slim elegance, the sorority-girl look, Weezy envied but could never achieve. Though the two had the same chocolate brown hair, the big-boned younger woman had always been forced to select clothing carefully to conceal broad hips such as no one else in the family
"Do you mean to throw me away, too?" her mother demanded. "Shall I climb into the trashcan? Spare you the trouble of tossing me?"
"Not if you tell me the truth for a change. I need to know who I am. Where is the rest of my family?"
"You're my flesh and blood daughter. But--but Jonathan adopted you when we married."
A cold wave washed over Weezy. "I'm illegitimate?"
"Weezy, of course not. When you were born I was properly married--to someone else."
"Someone else? Who, Mother? Who?" Weezy stared in shock.