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Delmarva Today 6-24-22 (Part 2) Hardland: A Novel of Survival

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Host Hal Wilson talks with Ashley Sweeney about her new novel Hardland. Set in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in small-town Arizona, Hardland tells the story of domestic violence survivor Ruby Fortune. More than a survivor, however, Ruby breaks the domesticated, subservient model of women expected in that period. She is an independent woman who knows herself and her value in a social and cultural environment that expects her to play a submissive role. Even though there are notable exceptions, the men who cross her path are generally crude and brutish. But Ruby not only survives, she excels.

This is Ashley Sweeney’s third novel. Her multiple awards include the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, Independent Publisher Book Award, and Arizona Authors Association Literary Award, among others. Her father, author Jerry Sweeney is known to many of us here on the Eastern Shore as the Book Review Editor of The Delmarva Review and a former president of The Eastern Shore Writers Association.

The book will come out in September.

Don Rush is the News Director at Delmarva Public Media. An award-winning journalist, Don reports major local issues of the day, from sea level rise, to urban development, to the changing demographics of Delmarva.