If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go

If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go

Format
Hardcover
Price
$25.95
 
Additional Formats
  • Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780399167072
  • 288 Pages
  • G.P. Putnam’s Sons
  • Adult

Overview

“Brings to mind the books of Richard Price and the films of Martin Scorsese… I did not want this book to end.” —Julie Klam, New York Times–bestselling author of Friendkeeping

It is the summer of 1972, and Katie has just turned eighteen. Katie and her town, Elephant Beach, are both on the verge: Katie of adulthood, and Elephant Beach of gentrification. But not yet: Elephant Beach is still gritty, working-class, close-knit. And Katie spends her time smoking and drinking with her friends, dreaming about a boy just back from Vietnam who’s still fighting a battle Katie can’t understand. 
In this poignant, evocative debut collection, Judy Chicurel creates a haunting, vivid world, where conflicts between mothers and daughters, men and women, soldiers and civilians and haves and have-nots reverberate to our own time. She captures not only a time and place, but the universal experience of being poised between the past and the future. At once heartbreaking, mesmerizing, and nostalgic, Chicurel shows us that no matter how beautiful some dreams are, there comes a time when we must let them go.
 

Praise

SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK ‘N’ ROLL:
At night, when I walked down the block of close-knit bungalows, past freckle-faced children playing stickball in the street and mothers standing inside their chain link fences smoking after-dishes cigarettes, and men sitting on their stoops, scratching, belching, watching the sunset, at the end of the block I’d see the crowd milling around the entrance to the beach, hear the cat calls, the dogs barking, ten speeds flying, surfboards leaning against the sea walls, cigarettes glowing like fireflies in the dusky heat, and my heart would beat harder, faster inside of me, and I’d think to myself: These are my people.
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Praise for Judy Chicurel’s If I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go 

“Chicurel has the ability to sketch characters so real we can feel their breath on the back of our necks, their voices in our ears, and we come to care deeply about all of them. Her sense of place, and of the 1970s, is indelible…. The writing is clear and lovely…. a novel that brilliantly shines.” —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

“Chicurel’s perfect pitch for the characters’ patter … is blunt, cynical, often profane and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny…. The author’s masterful writing makes this short stay in Elephant Beach worthwhile.” —Kirkus Reviews

If I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go is a startling book of linked stories. This is not just another ‘coming of age’ tale, but a wise, clear look at what it was to be a young woman at  singular time in our country. Chicurel’s portrait of a small town in the ’70s speaks volumes about who we are as a culture. ‘Debut collection’ is misleading here. This is a beautiful, accomplished book.” —Katie Crouch, New York Times–bestselling author of Girls in Trucks and Abroad

“A provocative story of unlikely friendships, unmatched compassion and learning to accept downtrodden people for who they are. With prose as clear as glass and words that carry even the most complicated of images, Chicurel reveals her characters’ best moments, their worst moments and moments of which they may only dream. The book reminds us that sometimes, something as simple as a beachfront view is enough to make something beautiful. And other times, the best things are in front of us without our knowing it.” —Bookpage

If I Knew You Were Going to Be This Beautiful, I Never Would Have Let You Go is a dazzling debut collection that brings to mind the books of Richard Price and the films of Martin Scorsese. The characters in the stories burrow deeply under your skin and stay there.  Wonderful, vivid, funny, heart-wrenching and authentic. I did not want this book to end.” —Julie Klam, New York Times–bestselling author of Friendkeeping

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