Even in the era following the feminist movement, gender roles are still a divisive subject. One can imagine the difficulties women faced more than 200 years ago. Maha Kallas’ novel “Unexpected Journey” (published by WestBow Press) examines the plight of Emma, a girl whose dreams are constricted by the society in which she lives.
Born in 1812 in Greenland, Emma is the only daughter of a prosperous wool trader. She wants to run and play with her four brothers, but is quickly shut down by her father who says she needs to behave like a woman.
When Emma marries Arthur, she believes she has finally escaped her father’s oppressive hand. Soon, she realizes she has only traded in one tyrannical male figure for another. Emma gives birth to twins, but many around her are disappointed to see they are girls. She redeems herself in the eyes of the men around her by giving birth to twin sons. Emma’s strong will, however, has been passed down to her daughters, as will be evidenced by Emma’s granddaughter, Mary. Mary will have her own battles to fight, but with the spirit of her grandmother within her, she will overcome them all.
“Unexpected Journey” tells of a time before feminism, before women’s suffrage when gender roles were sharply defined. This is the journey of two women who refused to be walled in by these standards.