by Marilyn Hope Lake
Meadowlark Press, October 2023
Retail: Paperback $19.99, hardcover $29.99
FICTION / Women
FICTION / Feminist
FICTION / Short Stories (single author)
FICTION / Historical / General
Forced to extremes in order to escape women’s accepted societal roles, the protagonists in this short story collection—the women of one midwestern river town family—overcome hardship and heartbreak, pain and pressure, in order to burst the bonds that hold them and bring forth a better future for their daughters and sons. Their struggles comprise a panorama of women’s issues that span the twentieth century: social injustice, sexism, discrimination, and racism. These ordinary women experienced it all, and the unique ways in which they dealt with these issues illustrate a past we should all hope to leave behind.
What Reviewers are Saying:
Set in Illinois and Missouri river towns and cities from the early to late twentieth century, these plainspoken stories resurrect the past in all its glorious particulars, without sanctifying or sentimentalizing a mixed heritage of familial love and abuse. It’s all here: romance, rape, domestic violence, segregation, integration, the sexual revolution, political upheaval, and each generation’s backlash against the excesses of the last. Our Mothers’ Ghosts revolves around two archetypal sisters, and Lake takes great relish in revealing the dark impulses of the golden girl Helen and the disruptive innocence of the black sheep Boots. Amid the palpable pleasures of the book’s rich historical detail, there is always the shock of something blunt and honest and new.
—Trudy Lewis, author of The Empire Rolls
Marilyn Hope Lake’s work is very impressive. Lake’s tender prose transports the reader to an earlier, yet not-so-simple time, that reminds us of our past and guides us to a more hopeful future. Her stories have an effect you may have seen in a classic film, beginning with an evocative black and white photograph that suddenly blooms in full, technicolor glory as the narrative springs to life.
—Daren Dean, author of Far Beyond the Pale and Black Harvest
Our Mothers’ Ghosts is a wonderful collection of interconnected short stories that gains in complexity with each story, creating a rich portrait of work and women in twentieth-century America.
--Steve Wiegenstein, Author, Scattered Lights, Slant of Light, This Old World, and The Language of Trees
Marilyn lived in Hutchinson, Kansas, from 2002-2017, is a long time active member of the Kansas Authors Club. She helped facilitate the 2014 annual conference. She misses her Kansas friends, but is happy to live with her canine companion, Hugo, near family in Columbia, Missouri.