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Back to the Sixties

May 29th, 2023

In playwright and author Caitlin Hicks’ new novel,  Kennedy Girl (Sunbury $19.95), it’s 1968 and Annie Shea, a girl with white skin, falls for Lucas, a boy with black skin. The two are at Robert Kennedy’s last night on his 1968 California primary campaign. Moments later their charismatic leader is mortally wounded. The two set off on a hasty road trip to Canada as they escape the law and the Vietnam War. Along the way, both encounter knee-jerk racism and “aha!” moments of understanding and empathy for the other’s experience of life and circumstance. Kennedy Girl also highlights Canada’s complex role in the Vietnam War. A refuge for young immigrants escaping America’s Draft, Canada opened its doors, providing an escape for conscientious objectors. This role earned Canada a reputation as peace-keeper (although Canada’s government aided the US in a number of other ways during the conflict). Hicks researched the year and the events thoroughly and her story features factual historical incidents and details. This story follows on from Hicks’ previous novel, A Theory of Expanded Love (Light Messages, 2015), her debut novel about Annie Shea as a young girl and her Catholic family. Annie wants to elevate her family in their parish but is held back by her secrets – what she later reveals as “The Hands” that visit her in bed and the fact that her sister becomes pregnant “out of wedlock.” When Annie realizes her parents will do anything to protect their reputation, she takes courageous risks to find salvation from the tragic events that ensue. Kennedy Girl is set to be launched on June 2nd, the week of the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Kennedy. 9798888190029

2 Responses to “Back to the Sixties”

  1. Ah, PJ! Much love and appreciation of your wit – and your courage to express it.

  2. PJ Reece says:

    Sounds like the start of a lifelong series, Annie Shea cradle to grave, why not? She’s a force to be reckoned with and good luck with that! Congrats, Caitlin!

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