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Wife Material

A Novel of Misbehavior and Freedom

Wife Material by Deborah Cox
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Wife Materialtells a story ofreligious abuse, child maltreatment, and sexual repression in the modern Church of Christ. Elizabeth Campbell grows up in the fictional Southern Church of Christ community of Sunset, Tennessee.Elizabeth's parents are violinists. Her father seems gay. Their church disallows musical instruments and homosexuality. Martin Campbell's past remains something of a mystery, but Elizabeth's father is clearly torn. In his celibate marriage, Martin Campbell embodies the conflict between his deep passion for music, his distorted sexuality, and the demands of this religion - in a kind of sadism that he inflicts on his children. Elizabeth succumbs to the twisted violence in her family and sexual harassment at the Christian prep school she attends. She falls for the pressure of early marriage at conservative Waltham University, the flagship Church-of-Christ college where suicides abound. Then, she escapes fundamentalism through a series of liberating sins......and finds love.The mainstream Church of Christ emerged in the early 20th century, with roots in the Protestant Restoration Movement. This American sect shuns members for divorce, infidelity, teen pregnancy - and forbids women speaking in services. It currently has over one million U.S. members and two million members, worldwide. The C of C teaches that it is the only true church because of its literal interpretation of the Bible, its insistence on baptism by immersion, and its refusal to call itself a denomination.A work of autobiographical fiction, Wife Material broadens the field ofreligious narrative by being the first work of fiction to deal with the Church of Christ. While numerous novels and memoirs deal with fundamentalist Christian and/or evangelical groups, no other depicts the culture of this particular organization. Author, Deborah Cox, brings her firsthand experience of Church of Christ cultureto the story of the Campbell family - a family caught between the beauty of the wider world and the deeply-rooted notions of this secular world as a dangerous and sinful place. Now, a trauma psychologist, Cox grew upwithin this organization and attended one of its colleges. Through the lens of fiction, she paints a disturbing picture of the emotional disease process that thrives in such groups - and its multi-generational transmission of anxiety and woman-hate. At the same time, Wife Materialresonates with readers of all faith backgrounds with its humor, hope, and complexity.
Succulent Books; August 2015
ISBN 9780996554701
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Title: Wife Material
Author: Deborah Cox
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