This is a fabulous read, one that took me right back to the days of teenage love-crushes and desperately wanting to be a grown up, but scared of going too fast. I had nothing in common with Katie, the heroine of this coming of age novel, set in a seedy outpost of Long Island in the early 70s; her teenage years we very far removed from my experiences, but I really connected with her. The characters are beautifully crafted, the story simple but packed with everyday drama and the writing is elegant and sharp, with a clever way of throwing in a sceptically wry observation. The long shadow of the Vietnam War seeps into everyday life and it brings you up sharpish to realise in terms of war, we haven’t moved on much. Suggest you have Lana Del Ray playing as you read, her bad-girl vulnerability feels like an inspiration for a couple of the female characters.
This is Judy Chicurel’s first novel, I hope she’s hard at work on the second.
Buy it here. If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go