Wax, a novel by Therese Ambrosi Smith
Published August 1, 2011
Pearl Harbor is attacked, and three young women take jobs in industry. Before the war ends, one will lose a nephew to combat, one will receive a mysterious inheritance, and one will refuse a marriage proposal, after admitting that she’s never been attracted to men. They’ll forge lifelong bonds, and discover a shared past.
When the war ends, they’ll reject aprons and heels. Tilly Bettencourt leaves her sheltered home for the shipyards at Richmond, California. She learns she’s more resilient than she’d ever imagined. She also discovers that she’s in love with her neighbor, Sylvia Manning. Convinced that her “condition” is due to weight-loss and hormonal disruption, she eats as much as she can, to no avail. At Kaiser, Tilly meets her future business partner, Doris Jura.
After victory in Europe, Tilly and Doris receive layoff notices, but are unwilling to return to waitressing and selling cosmetics for a fifth of their wartime salaries. They pool their savings and start a business making candles that is successful until an arsonist burns their factory. During the trial, secrets kept for more than a generation are revealed.
Wax is a story of strong female friendship, sexual-discovery, and long-held secrets, set in the 1940’s, as the seeds of the civil rights and feminists movements are sown — along with victory gardens.
It’s fiction inspired by the real lives of “Rosies” who came of age during WWII. The women in Wax struggle to find their own paths; they ultimately find happiness through self awareness and acceptance.
An August, 2012 review of Wax by All Books Review can be read here.
Therese’s Favorite Bookstores
Wax is distributed through national wholesalers: Ingram and Baker&Taylor. Your neighborhood bookseller should have no problem ordering it.
Below is a list of debut-author-friendly independent bookstores that do online fulfillment. They’ve supported me, will you support them?
By city — listed alphabetically — they are:
Bainbridge Island, WA: Eagle Harbor Book Company
Bellingham, WA: Village Books in Fairhaven
Gualala, CA: Four-Eyed Frog Books
La Canada, CA: Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse
Leavenworth, WA: A Book for All Seasons
Lincoln City OR: Bob’s Beach Books
Olympia, WA: Orca Books
Quincy, CA: Epilog Books
Spokane, WA: Auntie’s Books
Walla Walla, WA: Book & Game
Watsonville, CA: Crossroads Books