When I was doing reseach on historic homes in Massachusetts, I stumbled across a ruling in a court case. There were not many details, but I wondered about the events before and after the case was decided. My imagination took over and from those little bits of facts and my imagination came the story told in Hell Hath No Fury.
However, the story remained nebulous until I discovered the setting. I call my imaginary town Slaterville, but some of the inspiration came from the area of Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. I certainly took liberties with some aspects of the town’s geography and history, but in other ways, I stayed close to reality.
The title, Hell Hath No Fury, comes from a play written by William Congreves in 1697. The line is “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned” As the relationship between the three main characters develop, rage does turn love to hatred.
Hazel, the first character the readers encounter, is young, beautiful, and well-liked. Her father runs the general store in town, but is about to lose it. Times are changing and the A&P is moving in. Florence is the daughter of the wealthiest man in town, the man who owns the mill which is the heart of the town’s economy. Older and plainer, she considers herself the leader of the women in the area, yet worries that people only like her because she is rich.
Then a roll of the dice brings Henry into this small town, and both women are dazzled by him. Henry has learned to survive by his wits and by cutting corners. When the dice tell him to stay in this small town, the lives of both women change.
In future blogs, I will talk more about the book and how I moved from nebulous idea to a book in print.