Magazine writer Colton has crafted an enthusiastic, exuberantly chatty coming-of-age novel about a girl’s initiation into womanhood.
It’s 1967, and 18-year-old Louisa has much to learn and ponder as she explores her new world at North Carolina’s Holy Trinity College. The â€œthick, sweet images” of her newfound freedom on the all-girl campus are intoxicating, though each Trinity student is bound by the college’s strict rules and regulations, including having chaperones at social functions to protect the girls from â€œpredator males.” Nevertheless, Louisa’s randy boyfriend, Sam, still visits as she wrestles with the notion of her virginity and then discovers he’s been seeing another girl over the summer. Family friend Jackson also visits, offering laughs and close companionship. Then there’s college life, too, with drinking parties, marijuana and a host of new friends, plus panty raids, fears about the draft, a new thing called birth control, riots and a pregnancy scare. Louisa indulges in her share of rebellious behavior–she’s busted for on-campus drinking, for instance, possibly jeopardizing her graduation. Colton displays a pleasing, accurate ear for the music of the time (the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix are always present). Told from Louisa’s doe-eyed perspective, the author’s ambitious debut is enjoyable, although, with overlong exposition and overly intricate detailing, it can move at a snail’s pace. Still, Colton’s consistently engaging characters can be heard giggling long after the final page has been turned.
The social revolution never looked so bright and bubbly.