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Becoming Lin

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  15 reviews
A tale of transformation in a time of chaos.

It's 1965. Twenty-two-year-old Linda Wise despairs of escaping her overprotective parents and her hometown, where far too many know she was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Deliverance arrives in the form of marriage to the charismatic, twenty-six-year-old Ronald Brunson, a newly ordained Methodist minister who ignites her passi
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 20th 2017 by Caitlin Press Inc.
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Tricia Dower Hmm, interesting question! Probably #47, the Joy of Sex scene that begins on page 224, because it brought me back to single mom days when the…moreHmm, interesting question! Probably #47, the Joy of Sex scene that begins on page 224, because it brought me back to single mom days when the friendship of other women kept me sane. Thanks for asking, Laurie.(less)
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4.22  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Dianne Ascroft
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story. It provides fascinating insight into the emotional and social development of a young woman, and the evolution of a couple’s marriage, as well as the changes and growth that were occurring in the United States during the era in which the story is set.
The main character, Linda Brunton (nee Wise) or Lin, rings true as a person coping with past emotional trauma. She is also believable as a woman coming of age in an era when feminism was challenging society to make momen
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tricia Dower's novel, Becoming Lin, is visceral, swirling in deep dialogue, subtext and raw emotion, tackling the characters' daily hurdles and larger social issues. This story has multiple facets and layers exploring a personal, spiritual, historical and social landscape of the value of women's place and role in society, and the quest for truth and justice in humanity. What it means to honour the self and be unselfish -- to participate and have purpose, and to still go inwards and be in solitud ...more
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Becoming Lin is Linda Wise's story, continuing where Stony River left off. The time period is now the 60's. Once again, Tricia Dower does an amazing job of capturing the mood and culture of the time period. I could personally relate to many aspects of this story, attitudes towards feminism and culture shock, like when ordinary things suddenly go by very different names. I thought a pocketbook was a paperback novel, not a purse. But then I grew up in Northern Ontario, where we talk like Minnesota ...more
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
This a lovely coming of age story that covers a wide range of topics - civil rights, Vietnam, war resistance, equal rights, psychology, sexual assault, love, marriage, motherhood. In terms of the reading experience, it started out a bit slow and uneventful for me (just in the setup of the story) but it really gained its strength through the middle section of the book. I breezed through the pages of that part because I just wanted to keep reading. At first I wasn't sure about the book going betwe ...more
Kerry Clare
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books so far this year, and Dower's best book yet. Read my review on my blog:
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eager to escape the meager existence that surrounds her, Linda Wise dives head first into a life with a newly ordained minister. Though she doesn't know much about what it's like being a married woman, she's willing to give her marriage everything she's got. Granted, she can't quite forget about the circumstances that have brought her to where she is now. Nevertheless, she refuses let others dictate what it is she should or shouldn't do.

I love the fact that Becoming Lin takes place in the same u
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was given a complimentary copy through Goodreads.
This was an interesting example of more recent historical fiction, revealing aspects of the impact of the Vietnam war in the 1960s and 1970s in the USA. I was struck by some of the parallels between this time period and the current era of Donald Trump's presidency.
Paralleling the growth in a nation was the personal maturation of a young woamn through these turbulent times, with the influences of feminism and psychology on self and relationships.
L. Deborah Sword
Linda is a good girl, of a religious family, who meets a pastor when he delivers a guest sermon about standing up for Negro civil rights and against the war in Viet Nam. They wed. She thinks they'll have a terrific life of activism. He thinks he's a married man and father of a baby now so must be responsible. She gets bored and dissatisfied, which she can't justify because he's such a good man, pastor, husband and father. Lots of self blame there. Perfect capture of start of Women's Movement, an ...more
I was provided an ARC of this book by the publishers in exchange for an honest review. The full review can be found at

Well, whoo, this book was quite a ride. It’s set in a period of great change and upheaval in the United States–as the book blurb mentions, the Civil Rights movement, the protests against the Vietnam War, the sexual and women’s revolutions. Linda–or Lin as she’s now known–becomes involved in all of these fronts one way or
Suzie Labonne
Mar 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a big fan of Dower and she delivered once more. Not only the writing is captivating but the reflection it triggered in me about my own time of becoming a woman, a standing individual who contributed more and more, took me way back. That period was so important for women and Dower highlights the courage and strength we all had to demonstrate.

Very touching and inspiring, Becoming Lin is one of my best books this year.
Jackie Saad
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was so captivated by Becoming Lin that I fought to resist the urge to read it at one sitting. Instead I savoured each phrase, each page remembering where and who I was at the time of its setting. Tricia Dower managed to capture the mood of the times through an empathetic lens, no heroes, no villains just complex characters with strengths and frailties wrestling with truths and choices in uncertain times.

Touching and compelling, Becoming Lin is a must read.
Andrea MacPherson
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. I liked much of the book--the core storyline of a woman in the 60's questioning her life as a pastor's wife, questioning her beliefs, questioning gender rights, questioning her own position in the world. I enjoyed the fractured form to the narrative.

But the middle sagged for me, the pacing off, the narrative details uneven. There were also a couple threads that were unresolved for me. Despite this, I enjoyed the novel, and its candid exploration of women's rights.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Tricia for continuing with the Linda Wise character from her book "Stony River". As she matures away from her NJ home we are entertained and educated on the history of the times and on Linda's growth as a wife, mother and woman and friend. I found myself talking out loud to the book, especially to express my upset to 'R'. That happens when I get caught up in the story and characters.

While I am not a great review writer I would like to say that I did enjoy this book very much and ha
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
A good story about finding yourself, finding your identity, and the identity that is all your own making - not the one others give to you. Also a good story about finding your feminist identity. Enjoyed Lin's journey from Linda to Lin, to the Lin that she is completely self-assured and secure in being. Thank you to Caitlin Press for sending a copy to read.
Katherine Pederson
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it
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Tricia Dower
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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TRICIA DOWER was a business executive before reinventing herself as a writer in 2002. Her Shakespeare-inspired story collection, Silent Girl (Inanna 2008) was nominated for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Herizons magazine called it "ambitious and powerful." Her first novel, Stony River (Penguin Canada 2012 and Leapfr ...more
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