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By: (1879-1958)

In "The Home-Maker" by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, readers are taken on a journey through the lives of the Knapp family as they navigate the complexities of gender roles and societal expectations in early 20th century America. The story follows Evangeline Knapp, a dedicated mother and homemaker who finds herself discontent with the traditional gender roles imposed on her. Through a series of events, she is given the opportunity to enter the workforce and prove her capabilities outside of the home.

Fisher beautifully captures the internal struggles and external pressures faced by Evangeline as she seeks fulfillment and purpose beyond the confines of domestic life. The characters are richly developed and the writing is both poignant and thought-provoking. The novel challenges readers to question the societal norms and prejudices that limit individuals based on their gender, and encourages reflection on the true meaning of success and happiness.

Overall, "The Home-Maker" is a compelling and resonant exploration of gender, identity, and the pursuit of fulfillment. Fisher's masterful storytelling leaves a lasting impact and serves as a timeless reminder of the importance of embracing one's true self, regardless of societal expectations.

Book Description:
The Knapp family seems as though they ought to be happy, yet hidden frustrations are tearing them apart under the surface. As the family breadwinner, Lester Knapp drags himself reluctantly to his job each day, miserable in the harsh world of commerce and business, longing for a quiet life at home with his books. Meanwhile, Evangeline Knapp is admired as an excellent housewife, yet the limited challenges of that life are driving her to perfectionism and boredom. The Knapp children are affected by their parents' unhappiness, the youngest child acting out in frequent tantrums, and the two older children tense and nervous. When an accident puts Lester in a wheelchair and sends Evangeline out to work, their family and friends see it only as a tragedy. Yet Lester discovers his true calling at home, developing his own relaxed style of housekeeping, while discerning the individual needs and personalities of the children. And Evangeline discovers her true calling in the business world, demonstrating both creativity and organizational skills, thriving on the daily challenge and mental stimulation. Before long, the entire family realizes that they are all blossoming into a new happiness. But will this unconventional arrangement of gender roles be allowed to continue? Or will circumstances force the Knapps to return to the lives that made them miserable? - Summary by Maria Kasper

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