LoveReading View on If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go
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.
If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go Synopsis
'Raw, nostalgic, utterly compelling and very, very cool...A mind-blowingly impressive debut' Eva Rice There are books that stay with you long after you've read them. This is one of those. Katie has been hanging around Comanche Street for three years and there are still times when it feels like she is watching a movie starring everyone in the world, except her. Through sun-kissed days by the ocean and hazy nights in drifter bars, through love and death and pain, while the Vietnam war rages distantly and yet disturbingly close, she yearns to belong and never dreams that all the others want is to escape. Night after night, they wait for something to happen. It's summer, and anything is possible ...A powerful coming-of-age tale reminiscent of Anne Tyler, Alice Hoffman and Melissa Banks.
If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go Reader Reviews
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
- Catherine Jenkins - 'A book of searing impressions, Chicurel's narrative will stay with the reader beyond its conclusion.' Read full review >
- Phylippa Smithson - 'A book full of friendship, emotional conflict, young love, hope and loss, hopelessness and growth. Loved it.' Read full review >
- Cath Humphris - 'It took me a few pages to get into it, but by the time I'd finished the second chapter I was hooked. This is a lovely coming-of-age story, thought provoking and evocative.' Read full review >
- Angela Rhodes - 'In the beautifully written debut novel, written by Judy Chirurel, the topics are far and wide, touching ever so lightly, on racism, teenage pregnancy, to name a few.' Read full review >
- Rebecca Whymark - 'Well written but not my cup of tea.' Read full review >
- Emma Smith - 'It is a haunting book that gets right in the middle of the harsh reality of the time...I'll be thinking about this one for a while.' Read full review >
- Victoria Whish - 'It’s not an easy, light read but it’s well written and will make you think about the specifics of these characters and setting and the wider world today.' Read full review >
- Megan Williams - 'A touching and beautiful novel with a poignancy that lingers with the reader long after you’ve put the book down.' Read full review >
- Sarah Harper - 'A truly accomplished debut and a thoroughly absorbing read, this book will stay with you long after you've read the last page.' Read full review >
- Suzanne Beney - 'The synopsis of this book really doesn’t do it justice, and in fact I felt slightly mislead...However, my expectations were surpassed and I found myself drawn into 1970’s America.' Read full review >
- Neil Beattie - 'I will be honest I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book, how wrong I was. I loved it, and didn't want it to end.' Read full review >
- Katie Hoare - 'This beautifully written and well observed debut novel is narrated by Katie, who was a young woman in the summer 1972, telling her story.' Read full review >
- Josie Barton - 'There is no doubt that the author is writing with authority, and is entirely comfortable recounting a story which has a realistic historical feel to it and which works as a social commentary...' Read full review >
- Evelyn Love-Gajardo - 'It's beautifully written and the author has a way of switching from colloquial to lyrical language within a couple of sentences. So definitely one to recommend...' Read full review >
- Lynne Morgan - 'Warning - this book is addictive – you will not want it to end!...This is an amazing first novel, a very human story, sensitively written and with a clear insight into humanity.' Read full review >
- Pam Kennedy - 'The most interesting bit of this book was the title, I did not like this book at all.' Read full review >
- Nicola Kingswell - 'Each chapter could almost be a short story in its own right, which is a nice way to write and to read, but there is an overall thread weaving though the book.' Read full review >
- Clare Turner - 'I loved this book! It is beautifully written, full of characters, emotions and episodes that remain with you. It is also slightly non-standard, in that it is a series of stand-alone short stories.' Read full review >
- Genevieve McAllister - 'It wasn’t the novel I thought it was going to be – no rose-tinted glasses here – but it was gritty and challenging and a worthwhile read because of it.' Read full review >
- Glenda Worth - 'A poignant novel about the youngsters in 1970's Long Island growing up in a jaded seaside resort.' Read full review >
If I Knew You Were Going to be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go Press Reviews
'A really wonderful book that will capture your heart and occupy your thoughts'
'Raw, nostalgic, utterly compelling and very, very cool ... A mind-blowingly impressive debut' - Eva Rice
'Tender and brave storytelling' GRAZIA
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