By January 26, 2010 0 Comments Read More →

Authors You Should Try: Jean Hegland

Jean Hegland only has 2 novels, but they are both perfect choices for book discussion.  Interestingly enough, they couldn’t be more different from each other.

th-img-forestInto the Forest is a post-apocalyptic story of two teenage sisters, Nell and Eva, who go through the end of the world with only each other to rely on.  It’s an undated future, where the world they know slowly collapses around them.  Wars raging in the middle east, banks are collapsing, and soon there is no news from any source.  The girls live in the remote California forests, and when their parents die, they are left to find a way to survive.  An absolutely fascinating tale, this is sure to make a lively discussion as readers will have strong emotions about what happens to the young women.  I’ve used this at 4 different libraries with good results.

 

th-img-windfallsHegland’s second novel, Windfalls, is the story of two different young women in the late 1970s who have the same choice to make:  each finds herself pregnant and unmarried.  Anna, a college student with career ambitions, chooses an abortion, while  Cerise, a lonely high-schooler, chooses to have her child.  Anna becomes a successful photographer who marries and has two daughters, and Cerise ends up in a series of bad situations that eventually cause her to lose her home and her second child.  Their paths cross when Anna hires Cerise as a daycare provider and the women forge an unexpected friendship.  A powerful and poignant novel.   While the topic of abortion may spark some heated discussions, the real meat of this story is motherhood and what it means; and, how homelessness can come upon any one of us in the blink of an eye.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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