A dazzling summer read
PARALLEL LIVES ((A Novel of the 1960s))
If you’re a fan of mystery, the 1960s, romance, politics, suspense and intrigue,
you’ll love Parallel Lives!
I’m excited to share Maj & Billy’s story with you.
Passionate about weaving imagination and the past to bring history to life, I’m especially excited about history that is rarely told. In this historical novel, experience a time of tremendous change in the 1960s San Francisco Bay Area through the eyes of a mute girl and a reckless boy–two local characters with nothing in common but a mutual fascination of their seemingly random meetings. Read how Maj and Billy’s lives implode during the wild migration of people from all over the United States and beyond who poured into San Francisco, stuck flowers in their hair, and saw only their dreams of the place.
Spanning 10 years across the ever-changing face of San Francisco when the great divide of economics and culture no longer kept people separated, no matter how different, Parallel Lives demonstrates that our chances for love and happiness are never truly over or used up. Success hangs on readiness and timing.
What if each of us is promised one wild and precious someone for a lifetime?
What if to seize this true love
first both parties must undergo an arduous and dangerous journey separately?
Maj Hawthorne, the beautiful and silent daughter of country club privilege, lives with her parents and Swedish-born grandmother in the East Bay area foothills at Great Oaks, a generational family estate. Pressed by her grandmother to speak or be destined to live by her looks alone, Maj struggles to learn to talk even as her mother plots to get her into the movies.
Billy Wayman Wolf, four years older than Maj, lives with his maternal, Potawatomi grandmother in the San Joaquin Valley. Punished for mouthing off and his petty thievery, Billy is sent to downtown Oakland where his mother lives in a flat over the Drop-In Club.
The first time their lives converge, though they come from opposite worlds, they know one another in a profound and certain way. Their paths cross again at a roadside accident, a Santana concert for farm workers, Caesar Chavez with Robert Kennedy in Delano, the Native American take-over of Alcatraz. During these brief encounters, they touch, they kiss, and they break each other’s heart as the currents of their lives bring them together and pull them apart, again and again. Until, finally, nothing is ever the same.
Deftly interweaving the lives of Maj and Billy, Parallel Lives is, ultimately, a coming-of-age tale of parallel lives, the power of communication, and the redemptive fire of love set against a time of cataclysmic change.
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Born in San Francisco, a fifth generation Californian, Martha Alderson grew up in the Bay Area in the 1950s and 1960s. She now lives and writes in Santa Cruz.