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Chapter 37 - Reunion


I am a child of the 1970's. I love 70's music, 70's TV shows, and books about the 70's. In November, my high school graduating class of 1975 will hold it's 46th reunion hopefully as we missed the opportunity last year. While I am still ambivalent about going, it is a good opportunity to catch up with friends I haven't seen in a while.


I have a particular affinity for books which take place in the 1970's especially if the protagonist is approximately the same age as I was then. (For you 80's teens, you probably can understand this when you read Ready Player One, a book chock full of 1980's culture.) History and teenage angst blend together in these books and take me back to, at least what seems from here, an easier time. (But, of course it wasn't!)


My favorite novels about this time period are listed below.


Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah - Most people are familiar with Kristin Hannah because of her last three books, The Four Winds, The Great Alone, and The Nightingale. While these are terrific books I enjoy Firefly Lane. It is a story of two teenage girls who find their best friends in each other during the summer of 1974.


The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis - This story, like Fiona Davis's others, has a building as one of the characters. In this case it is Grand Central Terminal. The action goes back and forth between 1928 when the building was a star in New York City to 1974 when it was to be demolished. Virginia Clay's life has crumbled almost as much as the building and she takes a job in the information booth at the terminal to support herself and her daughter. This is a delightful story of second chances.


The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls - Jeannette Walls is the author of the memoir, The Glass Castle, but this novel proves she can write fiction as well. Abandoned by their mother in California, Bean Holliday and her sister Liz hop a bus to Virginia to show up at their uncle's house. This coming of age story follows the girls as they learn about love and life.


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng - Lydia, a Chinese American child living in small town Ohio in the 1970's, is going to fulfill all the dreams that her parents missed. When her body is found in a local lake, the family comes apart in many ways. This is a good novel of love, loss, and how we try to understand our families.


Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand - Okay, while not actually a 1970's novel, it is still a coming of age story of my generation. A summer of Vietnam, Woodstock, and Chappaquiddick is the setting for the story of a 13 year old and her summer with her grandmother and mother in Nantucket. There are many moving parts in this book which looks at how this tumultuous year effected one family.


Do you have any favorite books that take place in the 70's? Please share!