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

3.23 (596 ratings by Goodreads)
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An outstanding debut for readers of Jennifer Egan, Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler, set in a Long Island community in the early 1970s.

'Nostalgic, utterly compelling and very, very cool... Mind-blowingly impressive' Eva Rice, author of THE LOST ART OF KEEPING SECRETS

Judy Chicurel's exquisitely written debut evokes the atmosphere of a 1970s summer in a close-knit working class community on Long Island. For readers of Jennifer Egan, Alice Hoffman and Anne Tyler

Katie and her young friends face a changing world, with prospects very different from those presented to their parents. The Vietnam War seems pointless to many but has devastated lives that remain broken even after the fighting is over. As, with bittersweet humour, the characters' experiences unfold, daily events mirror bigger issues: an illegal abortion is plotted; the town is sinking into an economic abyss forcing Katie's friends to leave in search of more promising horizons; drugs claim the lives of those often too high to recognise the danger until it is too late; and Katie dreams of a boy back from Nam who's still fighting a battle she doesn't understand.

IF I KNEW YOU WERE GOING TO BE THIS BEAUTIFUL, I NEVER WOULD HAVE LET YOU GO touchingly conveys the magic of everyday living during a darkened time.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 32mm | 472g
  • Tinder Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1472221656
  • 9781472221650
  • 2,429,394

Review quote

'A really wonderful book that will capture your heart and occupy your thoughts' * SUNDAY MIRROR * Raw, nostalgic, utterly compelling and very, very cool... A mind-blowingly impressive debut -- Eva Rice 'Tender and brave storytelling' * GRAZIA * Despite the dark sides, If I Knew is gorgeous and thoughtful; a compelling, wonderful look at a particular point in time * EMERALD STREET * Chicurel's novel has its dark moments, but the overriding sentiment is one of acceptance, resilience and the enduring power of friendship. A coming-of-age-tale with a haunting quality 4* * The Lady * The story hooked me in so I felt the characters' pain and hope * WOMAN & HOME * Beautifully written prose... Rarely do books evoke so viscerally a place, so tangibly a time and such a broad sweep of big themes * Hannah Beckerman * Beautiful and heart-breaking at once. A mesmerising, compulsive combination -- Adele Parks This book will haunt you long after you've finished * harpersbazaar.co.uk * 'A thought-provoking debut novel' * CLOSER * 'This love story set in 70s Long Island is guaranteed to have you gripped' * NOW * Beautifully evocative * Observer * Chicurel [is] a gifted and versatile writer, and always draws you in * Sunday Express *
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About Judy Chicurel

Judy Chicurel grew up in Long Beach, Long Island. Her work has appeared in national, regional and international publications including the New York Times, Granta, and Newsday. Her plays have been produced and performed in Manhattan and India. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Rating details

596 ratings
3.23 out of 5 stars
5 11% (66)
4 28% (165)
3 40% (237)
2 16% (95)
1 6% (33)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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