If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful I Never Would Have Let You Go – Judy Chicurel
No matter how beautiful some dreams are, there comes a time when we must let them go.
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.
I was sent a copy of #ThisBeautiful by the wonderful Georgina over at Headline Publishing Group, and I’m very glad she gifted me with such a wonderful novel.
Chicurel is a fantastic writer, and from the very first line you are pulled into this heart-breaking and inspiring story. It’s Katie’s final summer after recently graduating from high school. With so much future to look forward to, the reader would think Katie and her friends would be excited about all they have coming up, but being a resident at Elephant Beach just doesn’t make that possible.
The story is extremely atmospheric and you follow each of the characters through their journey and as a reader you find yourself feeling their pain and anguish from the destruction the Vietnam war has caused, leaving a rippling effect running through the town.
With so many underlying issues for the characters in this story such as teenage pregnancy, underage drinking and drug use, the story is very poignant and strikes a chord about growing into an adolescent in a small-town.
As the hashtag would suggest #ThisBeautiful is a very beautiful novel, and one that people need to get their hands on. Chicurel has penned a fantastically gritty debut novel, and I’m very intrigued to see what she comes up with next.