Sunday, March 8, 2020

Making it Work by Kathleen Glassburn

Sheila Gallagher is not yet out of her teens but thinks she has life figured out when she quits college to marry her Mr Right. They settle into comfortable domesticity in their home town of Minneapolis and the future is rosy. But this is the sixties and it’s not long before her husband, Jim, hears the call of Vietnam and joins the navy. They move to Long Beach, California, and there begins a long period of Jim coming and going on maneuvers, which means ennui for Sheila while he’s away and tensions when he’s home. The marriage can’t take the strain and thus Sheila embarks on a solo, rollercoaster journey across the exhilarating landscape that is the States in the 1960s and 70s, from flower-powered San Francisco, where she works in a music store, to Washington DC, where she lands a job at the Smithsonian, and eventually back to Minneapolis and the music degree she abandoned for the sake of love all those years ago. All the while, Sheila is absorbing - sometimes rejecting - the influences she encounters along the way and developing into a lovable, principled woman who the reader will be rooting for to achieve her ultimate goal: not fame or fortune but genuine fulfillment.

Kathleen writes with intimate knowledge of the era and the intricacies of the culture and politics of the time, giving a younger generation of readers a compelling and accessible slice of history, and serving up a hearty helping of nostalgia for those who lived it.

It is 1965 and nineteen-year-old Sheila Gallagher is grateful to have finally escaped her dysfunctional family and married her high school sweetheart. Unfortunately, she has barely unpacked in their Minneapolis apartment when Jim reveals he has joined the navy. Now her plan to earn a music degree is foiled. Still, Sheila puts her dreams on the back burner and follows Jim to California for his first assignment.
A few months after their arrival in Long Beach, Jim is deployed to Vietnam. As Sheila attempts to navigate in a strange city without her husband, she begins to question America’s military actions. And when Jim finally returns, he shocks her once again with his decision to re-enlist, prompting their divorce. As Sheila’s desire for a new beginning leads her to San Francisco, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery where she participates in anti-war demonstrations and searches for true love, meaningful friendships, and the courage to pursue her dreams. But in a time of great political and cultural change, Sheila is about to discover that a worthwhile goal can be difficult to achieve.
In this historical tale, a young woman sets out on a ten-year quest to overcome obstacles and create the future of her dreams during a tumultuous time in America.

I received a copy of this book from Publicist Sabrina Dax

Kathleen Glassubrn is the author three novels, all part of the Santa Fe Trilogy: A New PlateauRidin’ High and Going Back Home. Her work has been published in Amarillo Bay, Blue Lake Review, Cactus Heart Press, Cadillac Cicatrix, Cairn, Crucible, Epiphany Magazine, Imitation Fruit, Lullwater Review, Marco Polo Quarterly, Rio Grande Review, RiverSedge, SLAB, The Talon Mag, Wild Violet, and several other journals. Her story, “Picnics,” was a finalist in Glimmer Train’s Best Start contest. She is Managing Editor of The Writer’s Workshop Review 

Kathleen graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English, and went on to earn an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University, Los Angeles. She currently resides in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, three dogs, two cats, and a 45-year-old turtle. When not writing or reading, she likes to play the piano and horseback ride. Her latest novel is titled Making It Work. For more information, please see her website:

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