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Living alone on the Frontier

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i am starting a novel set in the early  1900s  and am wondering  if my female character would have lived alone or rather live with  Family   Right now i have wrote her to be living with  her elder brother but am not sure if thats   acceptable  for the period   
#1 - December 31, 2018, 08:00 PM

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I think it's perfectly appropriate for your character to live with her brother. Very few women would have truly supported themselves during that period, especially on the frontier. Then again, by 1900, American married women were allowed to own property and I assume widows were, too, though you'd have to double-check that. So, depending upon your character's status (and degree of moxy), she could have had her own home and supported herself with a job.

(Of course, YOUR story could be especially unique in that your female character breaks the mold and lives in a way atypical for the time.  :gogirl )

Best, best wishes, Elizabeth!!
#2 - January 01, 2019, 04:32 AM
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 04:39 AM by carrots »

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I recommend reading HATTIE BIG SKY by Kirby Larson. A 16yo claims her land inheritance from an uncle.
#3 - January 02, 2019, 07:17 AM
BLACKOUT -- available now
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SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now

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Hi Elizabeth! I write historical fiction and am currently working on a book set in the same time period (although set in NY.) The short answer is yes, that's fine. But without knowing much about your character (how old is she? where is she living? are parents alive or dead?) it's hard to say more.  In any case, I recommend reading as much HF set in the time period as possible, as well as thoroughly researching the place and time. If you are writing YA, I recommend reading  Walk on Earth A Stranger (by Rae Carson) and Vengeance Road (by Erin Bowman.) Both are set in the west in the late 19th century and feature female protagonists who are on their own. Walk on Earth a Stranger is not straight historical fiction as it has some magical elements, but the setting is authentic.  In fact, it's almost a trope in YA historical fiction to have the female protagonist be on her own (or without parent.) Good luck to you!
#4 - January 12, 2019, 03:20 PM

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Agreed. I don't write in that time period, my latest historical is during the Renaissance, but I've read enough historical stories in this time period to know that either alone or with her brother is fine. However, if she is alone, you'll want to make sure you show the reader why she is not with family. Good luck!
#5 - January 13, 2019, 04:22 PM
ROYALLY ENTITLED (inspirational/historical YA) and OOPS-A-DAISY (humorous MG) out now.


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