One of the perks of being part of the Catholic Writers Guild is sometimes you get an advanced copy of up-and-coming Catholic literature.
One coming up in about a month’s time is:
Don’t You Forget About Me!
How could I?
The first thing I noticed about this novel were the chapter titles. Normally, chapter titles, while helpful for following the thread of the narrative, are not usually noteworthy. These are – including the books’ title. They all are taken from music popular in the mid-eighties. While recalling those tunes did not cause me to do any toe-tapping, most of the titles did stir up some slight nostalgia for that time period.
It seems that while my generation was one or two grades ahead of those described in the novel, the experience of Catholic School life was very familiar, right down to the school secretary. I recall having attended my high school reunion several years ago and marveling at how classmates had changed over the years, and not just their appearance. The issues they have to deal with as grown-ups are a far cry from those of the teenage years, not unlike the characters in this novel. Most had grown out of that adolescent angst that plagued each of us, although some still remember the teasing and pet names we used to give each other.
In the novel, the folks that had gotten back together, while distant and still holding onto old animosities, still had one torturous legacy that bonded them all together: a pervasive illness. It was fascinating to see how the author weaved pertinent Catholic issues in with the mysterious illnesses. Issues such as medicinal use of contraception and the reversion of those fallen away from the faith play prominent parts in the unfolding of the plot.
Kudos also to Erin McCole-Cupp for including resources for further information on such issues at the end of the book, as well as keeping the tone of the novel snarky and riveting. I like a good chapter-end cliffhanger, and I suspect I’m not alone in that.
I can’t wait for readers to be able to get their hands on this one. Don’t You Forget About Me comes out in November of 2013.