Wife Material

wife-material-book-cover-deborah-l-coxWife Material blends religious abuse and sexual repression in a coming-of-age story about the modern Church of Christ denomination. The author grew up in the flagship Church of Christ college community, Harding University, in the heartland of the Protestant Restoration movement. Wife Material tells the story of Elizabeth Campbell, raised in a similar place and time. Elizabeth’s parents are violinists. Her father seems gay. Their church disallows musical instruments and homosexuality. Lizzie succumbs to the twisted violence in her family and the pressure for early marriage at Waltham University, where suicides abound. Then, she escapes fundamentalism through a series of liberating sins.
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Blog Posts About Wife Material

Note to Self: Write MORE that's Real in 2018

MORE I need to write, but haven't in a while. I got a little bogged down trying to create neat, unoffensive packages of psychotherapy. I sort of lost myself, and writing became a chore. But I'm writing my way back home, thanks to a little rest and time with writerly friends. Now, my true self … Read More »

Dis-Fellowshipping: When People get Shunned

I have shunned and been shunned. What leads me to turn my back? Repeated bullying or toxic behavior that takes a mental or physical toll. Abuse toward me or others, without acknowledgement of impact. It makes me sad, but out of self-preservation, I've sometimes hit the eject button. On an individual level, we need to, … Read More »

Book Review - Wife Material

Some in the 70s missed ERA and the end of Vietnam. Among them was Elizabeth Campbell, the heroine of Wife Material: A Novel of Misbehavior and Freedom. Cocooned from the larger world of feminism and anti-government rallies, Elizabeth was well-prepared for domestic rather than political action. Growing up in a small town and attending the … Read More »

Leaving Home to Find My Higher (Grownup) Self

I Write to Grow Up I struggle to differentiate, as we all do. Leaving home is a lifelong process, as described by Murray Bowen, the father of family systems theory. But writing my novel, Wife Material, about the process of leaving home, catapulted me forward. That’s why I so recommend life-writing as part of trauma … Read More »

Writing as Healthy Rebellion

Julia Cameron says we all have the right to write, even if someone has told us we’re no good at it. Writing is a birthright that cannot be denied. It brings what’s inside to the outside, a very basic human need. I’m working on a sequel to Wife Material, the novel I published last fall. … Read More »