Judy Chicurel grew up in Long Beach, Long Island. Her work has appeared in national, regional and international publications including the New York Times, Granta, and Newsday. Her plays have been produced and performed in Manhattan and India. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
1972 and the teenagers of Long Island spend their time drinking, smoking and taking drugs. The girls all experiment with sex, get pregnant, have abortions or adoptions, such is life. The boys are all older men, most suffering from the effects of military service in Vietnam. These are bleak times. It is small-town community life, astutely described; a working class Long Island not often portrayed. ~ Sarah Broadhurst One of our Books of the Year 2014.
Judy Chicurel's exquisitely written debut evokes the atmosphere of a 1970s summer in a close-knit working class community on Long Island. Katie and her young friends face a changing world, with prospects very different from those presented to their parents. The Vietnam War seems pointless to many but has devastated lives that remain broken even after the fighting is over. As, with bittersweet humour, the characters' experiences unfold, daily events mirror bigger issues: an illegal abortion is plotted; the town is sinking into an economic abyss forcing Katie's friends to leave in search of more promising horizons; drugs claim the lives of those often too high to recognise the danger until it is too late; and Katie dreams of a boy back from Nam who's still fighting a battle she doesn't understand. IF I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO BE THIS BEAUTIFUL, I NEVER WOULD HAVE LET YOU GO touchingly conveys the magic of everyday living during a darkened time.
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