Book Description for In the Context of Love
What makes us step back to examine the events and people that have shaped our lives? And what happens when what we discover leads to more questions?
Angelica Schirrick wonders how her life could have gotten so far off-track. With two children in tow, she begins a journey of self-discovery that leads her back home to Ohio. It pains her to remember the promise her future once held and the shattering revelations that derailed her life.
Can she face the failures and secrets of her past and move forward? Somehow she must learn to accept the violence of her beginning before she can be open to life, and a second chance at love.
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is a published poet and fiction writer, cynical optimist, fan of corgis, tea drinker, and wine lover from Michigan. Her poetry, short stories, and art have been published in more than fifty literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Clackamas Literary Review, Spoon River, and Permafrost.
She received a poetry chapbook award from Bottom Dog Press, and an MFA from the University of Southern Maine. Linda lives with her husband in southeast Michigan, where they spoil their grandchildren and then send them back home.
How did you come up with the title of your book, In the Context of Love?
At its heart, the story is about love and what people will do for love. A mother goes to extreme lengths to protect her daughter. A father takes action unlike anything he’s done before to keep his daughter from going astray. A woman spends a lifetime comparing every man to the first she ever loved. A man sends yellow roses, which signify friendship, to the one he loves, hoping she’ll understand the deeper meaning.
What lead you to choose Ohio as the setting?
I grew up in a small town south of Cleveland, Ohio. Part of the story takes place in the seventies, when the main character, Angelica, is a teen, so I drew from my vivid memories of Cleveland from that era, and my high school and hometown were in my mind when I created Angelica’s fictitious school and neighborhood.
Who is your favorite character from the book, and why?
I love them all for different reasons, but I got a kick out of writing Gavin Schirrick, Angelica’s husband. He’s shady and complicated with a streak of stupid. He allowed me to go over to the dark side and write from there. It was fascinating to create him and then let him screw things up on his own.
What are some of your favorite books?
My all time favorite book is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. It’s so profound that certain passages can still make me weep. Another favorite is Anne Tyler’s The Accidental Tourist with its cast of gloriously eccentric characters. They were funny without even trying.
What’s your next project?
Readers want to know what happens to the other characters, so I’m writing a companion book about Joe Vadas, Angelica’s main love interest. I think he’s a fascinating character. I also want to write a sequel, maybe from the point of view of Angelica’s daughter. I’m not sure. I’d love to hear ideas from my readers after they’ve read the book!
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey. In the Context of Love should be required reading for all wayward teenage girls—and their mothers, too.” ~Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters.
“With tenderness, but without blinking, Linda K. Sienkiewicz turns her eye on the predator-prey savannah of the young and still somehow hopeful.” ~ Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller, Deep End of the Ocean
“Absorbing, heartbreaking, compulsively-readable and insightful, Linda Sienkiewicz’s In the Context of Love casts a hypnotic spell. This is storytelling at its best.” ~ Lewis Robinson, author of the critically acclaimed, Officer Friendly: and Other Stories, and Water Dogs
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