A Brief History of Women in America
Thomas William Simpson
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
A Brief History of Women in America
What is this? This Brief History of Women in America? What’s it all about? Is it fact or fiction? History or memoir?
It’s a mixed bag really, a hodgepodge, a mostly true story based on Elizabeth Hamilton’s fictional life about a whole slew of family trials and tribulations that did in fact happen but maybe not exactly as Elizabeth claims.
Elizabeth is, after all, a highly emotional young lady who is presently ticked off. Royally ticked off, in fact. And when you’re royally ticked off your judgment can get, well… a little cloudy.
Elizabeth, you see, is out to settle some scores. Three scores in particular.
One against the US military establishment who she holds responsible for the loss of her sister Sarah’s right leg, blown off when an IED blew up her Marine Corps Humvee while patrolling the streets of Baghdad.
One against Olympic downhill ski champion Johnny Armour who she holds personally responsible for beating and abusing her twin sister, Katherine. The list of infractions against Johnny includes swollen bruises on Katherine’s face, broken ribs in her chest, fractured bones in her arm, and years of emotional cruelty that demand a reckoning.
And finally one against wealthy Internet Entrepreneur Bob the Smut King Blackwood who Elizabeth holds responsible for destroying her beloved father’s reputation out of pettiness, jealousy, and envy.
Oh yes, make no mistake, Elizabeth Hamilton is a young woman on the warpath. She’s out to demand an accounting, exact revenge, and seek retribution. Women, according to Elizabeth’s version of events, have been dealt a raw deal since the Mayflower anchored off Plymouth Rock. And now she’s out to right a few wrongs.
A Brief History of Women in America is her story. In her words. And actions. Told in real time as she first lays assault on the Pentagon, then hurtles west in her Civic for a confrontation with Johnny Armour in his Sun Valley, Idaho mansion. And finally back in her small hometown in rural Connecticut where she breaks into Mr. Bob Blackwood’s restored New England farmhouse, takes him hostage at gunpoint, and locks him in the tunnel beneath the house once used by slaves seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Quite a ride, Ms. Hamilton is on. No telling how it will all turn out. We can only hope there will be a happy ending. For Elizabeth. And for the women of America.
When I first conceived this story I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get into the head and psyche of a young woman dealing with the kinds of problems and emotions faced by Elizabeth Hamilton. I feared a difference in age and gender would hold me back. But the subject of revenge… reprisal… retribution… has always fascinated me (See The Caretaker and The Passage), and so I did what I’ve been doing for over thirty years—I simply started writing.
The idea for the story first started to percolate after I read an article about a professional athlete who had nearly beaten his girlfriend to death. Police detectives discovered when investigating the case the abuse had been going on for years. No one could understand why the young lady hadn’t done anything to put an end to it.
That struck me immediately as the impetus for a story. So I wrote it down in my little black book where I keep my story ideas.
Sometime later I read an article about the vast number of rapes in the US military. Most went unreported and those that were reported typically got swept under the proverbial rug.
Hmm, women getting beaten and raped. I made a few more notes in my little black book.
And not long after that I read another article about how young women were often lulled into the internet porn industry through drugs and deceit.
And like a flash of lightning, A Brief History of Women in America exploded across my brain. I saw it all very clearly as a three act play.
I wrote the first draft in a matter of weeks. The three acts were there but I didn’t yet have the voice. So I put the manuscript away for several months, a year or more. I eventually tried again, made several refinements in the plot, added some depths to the characters, but still I couldn’t quite hit the right tone for Elizabeth’s voice. My young female narrator sounded too male, too harsh, too calculating.
So I reluctantly put the manuscript away again. Another year passed. I met a friend’s daughter, a grad student at NYU. An hour in her company and I could hear, for the first time, Elizabeth Hamilton’s voice in my head. Elizabeth has plenty of attitude but she’s still just a kid, not at all sure what to do with all that angst and anger, but one hundred percent certain she must do something.
There is no greater cowardice in life than inaction.
A tight knit middle class American family torn asunder by events beyond their control—great stuff for a contemporary American novel. I hope you enjoy spending some time with Elizabeth. She’s quite a girl—tough and ornery but also loyal, reflective, and very, very passionate.