top of page

A story of strength, drive and survival amid mental strongholds and domestic abuse, “On Tenterhooks” brings to life the message that all women wrestle with similar struggles, no matter what era in which they live.


A debut novella written by Elizabeth Rago – this work of Women’s Fiction introduces Lucy Mathers, a single, job-hopping woman in her 20s who has just abruptly quit her job for the third time in a year. Her parents died when she was a child, leaving her a healthy inheritance, but she’s already blown her first installment.


Years from her second payout, Lucy is in a panic. Her best friend, Claire Culpepper, owns a pinup style hair salon on State Street in Chicago; she’s a smart businesswoman and single mother. Claire is also the nonjudgmental rock that Lucy has always needed in her life – a mother/best friend combo. After Claire fixes Lucy by way of a new hair color, the duo’s coping strategy for life’s stressors, Lucy stumbles across a loose brick in her linen closet and discovers an old book hidden in the wall.


Written on the pages is the world of a girl known only by the initials CW. Lucy picks up on her story as CW recounts the 1930s version of a walk-of-shame from her rich boyfriend’s house. Overwhelmed, embarrassed and drenched in sweat from the hot August heat, CW retreats to her friend’s dress shop to find solace. Lucy shares the diary with Claire, and they both find not only do their lives strangely parallel the lives of the women in the book.


Will they ever find out what happened to this young woman of the past?



On Tenterhooks book

  • Local drop off available for St. Charles, Geneva, & Batavia, Illinois

bottom of page