Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Potluck – Haddon Musings’ Feminist Friday – Eva Peron 2016 by Stevie Turner

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This is the second post from the archives of author Stevie Turner who has an extensive and eclectic archives and it is easy to get yourself lost in there for an hour or so. I selected this post from 2016 as I was always fascinated by Eva Peron and her extraordinary life.

Haddon Musings’ Feminist Friday – Eva Peron 2016 by Stevie Turner

Eva Maria Ibarguren was born on 7th May 1919 in the Argentinian rural village of Los Toldos, the youngest of five children. Her father Juan Duarte already had a wife and family in nearby Chivilcoy. When Eva was a year old, Juan returned to his legal wife, leaving Eva’s mother Juana and her children suffering severe hardship, but he did leave a document stating that the children were his, enabling them to use the Duarte surname. Juana sewed clothes for neighbours, but the family were somewhat stigmatised by the illegitimate status of the children. They moved to a one-room apartment in Junin, where Juana and her daughters took up jobs as cooks in local houses of note.

Eventually Eva’s older brother was able to give financial support to the family, and they moved to a bigger house which they transformed into a boarding house. During this time Eva often took part in school plays and concerts, and was determined to become an actress.

At the age of 15 Eva ran off with a young musician to Buenos Aires, in an attempt to escape her poverty-stricken village. The relationship ended but Eva remained in the capital, pursuing jobs on the stage and the radio. She eventually did become a film actress, and through several relationships also acquired modelling appointments, bleaching her black hair blonde. In 1936 she toured nationally with a theatre company, and On 28th March 1935 she had her professional debut in the play La Senora de Perez at the Comedias Theater. In 1942 she experienced economic stability at last when she was hired for a daily radio drama role on the most important radio station in the country, Radio El Mundo. By 1943 Eva was one of the highest paid actresses in the nation, and she moved to the exclusive neighbourhood of Recoleta.

Eva met Colonel Juan Peron during a charity event at the Luna Park Stadium on 22nd January 1944, and they were married the following year. Eva campaigned tirelessly for her husband during his 1946 presidential bid, and delivered powerful speeches using her radio show. The general public adored her. Juan Peron was elected President in 1946, and during the next 6 years First Lady Eva became powerful within the pro-Peronist trade unions, speaking on behalf of workers’ rights. She also ran the Ministries of Labor and Health, and founded and ran the charitable Eva Peron Foundation, sometimes working as many as 22 hours every day for the poor. She championed women’s suffrage in Argentina, and founded and ran Argentina’s first female political party, the Female Peronist Party.

In 1951 Eva announced her candidacy for the Peronist nomination for the office of Vice President of Argentina, receiving much support from ‘the shirtless ones’, the low-income working-class Argentines. However, ill-health and opposition from the nation’s military forced her to withdraw her candidacy.

On 9th January 1950 Eva fainted in public, and underwent surgery 3 days later. She was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer. She was the first Argentine to undergo chemotherapy, but the cancer metastasised despite a hysterectomy, and Eva died aged only 33 on 26th July 1952. Nearly 3 million people attended her funeral in the streets of Buenos Aires, and within a day of her death all flower shops had run out of stock. She was given a state funeral.

©Stevie Turner 2016

Amazing that she was only 33 years old and I wonder what she would think about her immortalisation on screen and theatre.

About Stevie Turner

Stevie Turner works part time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and darkly humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories, ‘Checking Out’, was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’ Her psychological thriller ‘Repent at Leisure’ won third place in the 2016 Drunken Druid Book Award contest.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. ‘A House Without Windows’ gained the attention of a New York media production company in December 2017.

Some of Stevie’s books are currently being translated into German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

A selection of books by Stevie Turner

A recent review for Partners in Time

One could argue the tagline for this excellent book could be ‘Emily is still desperate for a husband and children, and John is the answer to her dreams.’ The trouble is Emily and John are separated in time by over one hundred years.

Emily is introduced at the start of the book and at first, I thought I was about to read an excellent work of historical fiction as the setting, language, and social conventions are firmly placed in Victorian England. The other main characters are John Finbow and his wife, Kay, who are introduced in a modern-day 1990s setting. The rest of the story is told through the points of view of Emily, John, and Kay and most of the chapters alternate between those characters.

John Finbow is an apparently successful and wealthy screenwriter. He and his wife Kay move into Southcombe Rectory, a large Victorian house that has been empty since the 1960s. It had previously been owned by the Cuthbertson family who had lived there for generations. The ‘Emily’ referred to is the youngest of eight offspring of the late Reverend Arthur Cuthbertson and his wife Delia.

We soon learn about the strain in John and Kay’s marriage as 39-year-old John, would like to start a family, but Kay, 34, doesn’t relish the idea.

It is only after the Finbows move into the rectory we are treated to a brilliantly written paranormal novel. There are apparitions and other ‘out-of -this -world’ experiences which drew me in right from the start. Not only did they draw me in, but I was kept enthralled by the plot and the quality of the writing as I turned page after page. It was during my frenzy of page-turning, I thought this author should be renamed Stevie Page-Turner.

As the plot develops, we are also treated to a nice sub-plot: will John get arrested? [no spoilers from me]

This brilliant book is more than a paranormal novel as it operates at several levels including romance, urban fiction, and a good dollop of crime fiction. It’s worthy of turning into a movie. As the book description says: One hundred and thirty years separate them. Will Emily and John’s love survive time’s relentless march?

You really do need to read it and find out for yourself. Highly recommended!

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

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My thanks to Stevie for allowing me to browse her extensive archives and I am sure you will enjoy them if you head over to explore for yourselves.