“Written in a creative non-fiction form, With a Heart For Any Fate is a great summer read. It touches on many aspects of social history in the early twentieth century including women’s suffrage, World War 1 and the influenza epidemic that followed. Author Sharon S Atkins, Hazel’s granddaughter, has done a wonderful job researching the time period and tells her grandmother’s story with compassion and understanding.” Barbara J Starmans
A few weeks ago, I got an email from Sharon Atkins informing Grist about the impending publication of her book, “With a Heart For Any Fate,” a memoir of her grandmother, Hazel Howland Corwith. The book has now been released and, although I did not read it, I understand it includes a rich backdrop of Water Mill history.In describing the book, Sharon writes, “Follow [Hazel’s] journey to independence in this historical memoir based upon
diaries written by Hazel Hungerford Howland from 1908-1920. ‘With a Heart For Any Fate’ reveals the story of Hazel’s determination and perseverance to achieve her dream—only to wrestle with a decision which could result in leaving the dream behind.
“Experience life through Hazel’s eyes as she tells the story leading up to her decision to accept, or not, Carlton Corwith’s marriage proposal. Travel along with her as she transitions from an upstate New York high school student to a Southampton High School teacher. Discover how her actions are influenced by growing up on a rural family farm, moving to an urban environment, and teaching during the contention for women’s voting rights, the influenza epidemic of 1918 and World War I.”
Sharon researched her family history for 36 years and by 2012, she had the start of the story and an outline completed in 2013. Finally, last year, Sharon spent time in Southampton at the Rogers Library, reading every issue of The Southampton Press from September 1917 to August 1920.
Look for the book at your library or ask for it at your local bookstore.