Laurie Loewenstein - UNMENTIONABLES

Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet St
77005-1451 Houston
Unmentionables Cover Image
ISBN: 9781617751943
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Kaylie Jones Books - January 7th, 2014

Marian Elliot Adams, an outspoken advocate for sensible undergarments
for women, sweeps onto the Chautauqua stage under a brown canvas tent on
a sweltering August night in 1917, and shocks the gathered town of
Emporia with her speech: How can women compete with men in the work
place and in life if they are confined by their undergarments? The crowd
is further appalled when Marian falls off the stage and sprains her
ankle, and is forced to remain among them for a week. As the week
passes, she throws into turmoil the town's unspoken rules governing
social order, women, and Negroes. The recently widowed newspaper editor
Deuce Garland, his lapels glittering with fraternal pins, has always
been a community booster, his desire to conform rooted in a legacy of
shame--his great-grandfather married a black woman, and the town will
never let Deuce forget it, especially not his father-in-law, the owner
of the newspaper and Deuce's boss. Deuce and his father-in-law are
already at odds, since the old man refuses to allow Deuce's
stepdaughter, Helen, to go to Chicago to fight for women's suffrage.

Marian's arrival shatters Deuce's notions of what is acceptable, versus
what is right, and Deuce falls madly in love with the tall activist
from New York. During Marian's stay in Emporia, Marian pushes Deuce to
become a greater, braver, and more dynamic man than he ever imagined was
possible. He takes a stand against his father-in-law by helping Helen
escape to Chicago; and he publishes an article exposing the county's
oldest farm family as the source of a recent typhoid outbreak, risking
his livelihood and reputation. Marian's journey takes her to the frozen
mud of France's Picardy region, just beyond the lines, to help destitute
villagers as the Great War rages on. Helen, in Chicago, is hired as a
streetcar conductor surrounded by bitter men who resent her taking a
man's job. Meanwhile, Deuce struggles to make a living and find his
place in Emporia's wider community after losing the newspaper.

is a powerful catalyst that forces nineteenth-century Emporia into the
twentieth century; but while she agitates for enlightenment and justice,
she has little time to consider her own motives and her extreme
loneliness. Marian, in the end, must decide if she has the courage to
face small-town life, and be known, or continue to be a stranger always
passing through.