Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Release Day! Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy ~ My Thoughts #ShoulderSeason #NetGalley

  Happy Release Day!

Shoulder Season

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy
Coming of Age Fiction, 336 pages
Published July 6th 2021 by St. Martin's Press

Named a Best Book of Summer by Good Morning America • Parade • EW • Travel & Leisure • PopSugar • Brit & Co • SheReads • Women.com

A dazzling portrait of a young woman coming into her own, the youthful allure of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and what we lose—and gain—when we leave home.

The small town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life.

Living in the “bunny hutch”—Playboy’s version of a college dorm—Sherri gets her education in the joys of sisterhood, the thrill of financial independence, the magic of first love, and the heady effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But as spring gives way to summer, Sherri finds herself caught in a romantic triangle—and the tragedy that ensues will haunt her for the next forty years.

From the Midwestern prairie to the California desert, from Wisconsin lakes to the Pacific Ocean, this is a story of what happens when small town life is sprinkled with stardust, and what we lose—and gain—when we leave home. With a heroine to root for and a narrative to get lost in, Christina Clancy's Shoulder Season is a sexy, evocative tale, drenched in longing and desire, that captures a fleeting moment in American history with nostalgia and heart. 

My thoughts about Shoulder Season ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Palm Springs, 2019 -- Sherri stands outside the employee entrance of the Palm Springs Art Museum and stares at the scrubby mountain behind the building."

I really wasn't sure what to expect when I started Shoulder Season. It starts out innocently enough. We get to observe Sherri, a very successful women, as she meets with clients and works through her morning appointments. Later, as she goes though her emails, she finds one from an old friend, telling her it's time to return home to deal with the past, something she dreads having to do. 

Then we are thrown back almost 40 years, back to 1981, to watch Sherri's life unfold, observing all the good and bad decisions she makes and all of the ups and downs she goes through. Almost on a fluke, she ends up becoming a Playboy bunny. The reader gets an inside look at what the women had to endure to be a bunny, the glamour as well as the pitfalls of the lifestyle. I thought it was interesting to get this behind-the-scene look because I was there in that era when Playboy Clubs were very popular. 

Christina does a wonderful job of capturing the time and making the reader feel the joys and struggles of the lifestyle that Sherri was living. She definitely didn't have an easy life but she persevered and got through it, learning from her mistakes and coming out the other side a better person—even though her journey took her down a very rocky road. 

I loved this book just as much as I loved her previous one, The Second Home. Christina writes eloquently with words that just flow into your mind. Both of her books have been stories to treasure and I highly recommend Shoulder Season

I received a copy of Shoulder Season from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

In addition to writing, I teach spin classes (the sweating, not the weaving kind) and I taught English at Beloit College for almost a decade. My short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times "Modern Love" column, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Magazine, and in literary journals like Glimmer Train Stories, Hobart, Pleiades, The Minnesota Review and on Wisconsin Public Radio. I have a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

I live in Madison, Wisconsin with my very tall husband. We have two children, Olivia and Tim.

You can find out more about me on my website, http://www.christiclancywrites.com

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