It’s been awhile since I updated this blog. I got busy with the holidays and then catching up, and then with writing. I’ve completed my second draft on the Great Depression novel and am letting it sit for a bit before I tackle it again. Not really sure where to go from here; it needs more drafts to be sure. And I am trying to prepare for the next WIP. It’s a never-ending, vicious circle.
One of the subjects in my Great Depression WIP is abusive marriages. Not to give away too much, due to desperate times, my heroine is married off young to a man much older than she is. Then the marriage becomes abusive. It happened back then, it still happens today. Unfortunately in the 1930’s – and before and long after- abused women had nowhere to turn to. Friends and family may have been well-aware of the situation, but nothing could be done really. The church offered no answers really; divorce was considered a sin by many Christians.
Indiana has an interesting history when it comes to divorce. While frowned upon by most of society – and I am sure most Hoosiers- in the 1830’s Indiana passed a bill making it easier for women to obtain a divorce and keep the children. That was monumental for the 19th century! It was so easy to obtain a divorce in Indiana, that Heinrich Schliemann, the man who rediscovered the lost city of Troy, came here to obtain one as well. Of course while it was helpful to have such a liberal law, the majority of women did not make a beeline to the Hoosier state to free themselves of their husbands. Divorce carried a social stigma- if you were a divorced woman you were considered immoral and the blame of your failed marriage was laid at your feet. By the 1930’s divorce was too expensive that many couples opted to remain married because they could not afford to separate.
My heroine wants a divorce but various circumstances prevent her from obtaining one. Her story is partially modeled after that of a woman’s in my family. She was shackled to a violent man and was only freed through his death. While I believe in making marriage work and for better and for worse, I am grateful to live in an age where women can break away from their abusive spouses if they can.