I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Buckle up your Birkenstocks and travel back to 1975. Discover (or relive) the pre-digital age in Arcata, a remote Bohemian college town on the northern edge of California. Meet Kit, a hard-working, bookish senior, on track for graduation—that is, until she falls for Jonathan, one-time bestselling author, now her stand-in professor. Jonathan, a master in the art of deception, isn’t who he appears to be. As their bond grows, Kit’s desire blinds her to the truth— a shocking discovery shatters her faith and ultimately tests her integrity.
From the first blush of fall quarter to the final breath of spring, hard lessons will be learned. To “graduate” into an uncertain future, Jonathan and Kit must first embrace the present—including the injustices, ambiguities and absolute beauty of their lives.
Beneath the ever-changing Humboldt skies they forge ahead; they stumble and sometimes fall.
Heliotrope, a coming-of age story for the ages.
Heliotrope is an interesting dichotomy of love and hate—and not the kind we normally associate with chick lit. Both Kit and Jonathan have moments of self-loathing and self-indulgence, which seems in keeping with the ‘70s backdrop, and this contrast was something I could understand but abhor at the same time.
Jonathan’s issues with his family and his internal conflict were completely human, so full of inconsistencies and heartache. Kit’s crush was also very realistic and took me back to my own younger days, the cute professor, the jealousy, the mystery of discovering yourself. Her subsequent cruelty was also genuine; after all, “hell hath no fury,” right? Both characters were tortured and lonely, searching for the acceptance we all want in a less-than-forgiving time.
The story was a bit slow at times, and I wanted to prod it along. The constant description of weather was trying; I believe the weather, like the characters, was tumultuous and gray, but lengthy description of skies and rain wore thin. However, the story’s twist makes up for those issues.
JC (Jeanne) Miller, M.A., is an avid reader, aspiring traveler and table tennis enthusiast. She resides in Northern California.
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