Accidents of Providence had its beginnings in a Thanksgiving dinner argument. I had accepted an invitation to a turkey potluck at a friend’s house, and one of the guests, a psychologist, learned that I liked historical fiction. Immediately she urged me to quit the habit. She swore that any fictional attempt to depict a working-class seventeenth-century woman was doomed to failure because women of that era did not have inner lives, did not have time to contemplate their world, did not have the luxury to be complicated. They were too busy being chattel, this psychologist said, too busy eking out a bare-bones living. I disagreed, but she won the argument. Frustration turned to determination, and soon I found myself starting work on a story about ordinary tradeswomen possessed of extraordinary courage who lived and worked in London during the civil wars.
About halfway through my second or third draft of the novel I realized I could not imagine the interior world of Rachel Lockyer, my main character, without also exploring the exterior landscape of women’s friendships. Accidents of Providence is a love story, but it is also, or even primarily, a story about relationships between women. What are the ethics of female friendship? Of motherhood? Are we called to hold our closest friends morally accountable? Or should we simply stand by each other’s side when things fall apart? What happens when our best friends fail us?
As an exploration of women’s friendships, Accidents of Providence also grapples with the telling and the keeping of secrets. Today we live in such a tell-all, confessional society that we have almost forgotten what it feels like to stay silent, to ponder something difficult or personal in private. Accidents of Providence tries to explore what is both gained and lost when a woman chooses to remain silent, chooses not to speak, at the critical moment.
The story of a young woman who tried to bury a baby that died upon birth. A decree had been passed that single mothers were not permitted to do so. It was called the Bastard Act. Read morePublished 1 month ago by schoolmarm
I enjoyed every minute of this novel. I felt like I was in the seventeenth century with these suffering women and could relate the story to some of today's problems . A great book.Published 6 months ago by sylvia vest
So glad I live in this century! A must read for those who do not appreciate our time. I liked this story & will read again.Published 8 months ago by C. Disnute
Descriptive and thought provoking glimpse of history. Piece by piece the author artfully weaves the tale until the truth of Rachel's baby is known.Published 10 months ago by LLPS
I enjoyed it but not a real "deep thinking" book. More for fun reading - quick.Published 11 months ago by eggy
The book was written well. Her descriptions of London And of the characters were great. It could be at times be difficult to read because
Of the time period and the authors... Read more
I just could not get into this book but read it because it was on our list for our book club.Published 14 months ago by Diva