Incisive and compelling stories link together to form a keenly observed coming of age novel. Unfolding during the summer of 1972 in a down-on-its-heels Long Island beach town, this moving debut explores the friendships and connections of young people on the cusp of adulthood, trying to make sense of the changing world that surrounds them with a mixture of fear and bravado.
Observed through the perceptive eyes of Katie, life among the denizens of Elephant Beach comprises a blend of clinging to convention and yearning for something more. Working class, and more than a little run down, the community percolates with generational tension. For Katie and her friends, just graduating from high school, there are limited expectations, and even those are often cut short by unplanned pregnancies and hasty teenage marriages.
During this one memorable summer, Katie and her friends will experiment with sex and drugs, fall in love and have babies, all the while holding the greater world at bay as they try to figure out what to do with their lives. Longstanding relationships will change forever or solidify into something immutable. A new generation, uneasy and unsure, will take the first steps toward the indeterminate future.
Praise for IF I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO BE THIS BEAUTIFUL, I NEVER WOULD HAVE LET YOU GO:
“An emotionally resonant collection of coming-of-age stories . . . moving.”—The Wall Street Journal
“[A] hauntingly written debut . . . lovely.”—The Boston Globe
“. . . A beautiful and honest coming-of-age story. . . . A stunningly evocative portrait of a down-on-its-luck town and its people.”—Booklist, starred review
About the author:
Judy Chicurel’s work has appeared in regional, national, and international publications, including The New York Times, Newsday, and Granta. Her plays have been produced and performed in Manhattan. She lives by the water in Brooklyn, New York.
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