"I wanted to explore the journey of those young women who lost the men they might have married. They were an extraordinary generation who had to redesign — if you will — the notion of what it meant to be a woman on her own — a spinster."Those men were lost in the Great War of 1914-1918 in Europe. This quote is from page 4 of a "conversation" with the author at the back of Jacqueline Winspear's 2004 novel Birds of a Feather.
I realized, on reading that line above, that she didn't have as many options as I did, or even my mother, who was 13 years younger than her sister. The photo shows Mother's family: father, mother, six brothers, and two sisters. Their parents are on the left, my mother is the girl on the front row, and Bonnie is behind her. Mother was 12 when her father died in an auto accident in 1930, so this photo has to be earlier than that, obviously. Bonnie went on to work (and support herself) by working for Mark, the brother on the far right in this picture, who owned a coal company on Main Street near Ridgedale. She ran the office and dispatched the trucks delivering coal to their customers.
By the way, they are standing in front of the house I wrote about yesterday, the house on Fifth Avenue where I lived from 1943 to 1949.