Tuesday, September 23, 2008


(Written by Bev Hamel in Goodreads)

"Move over Holden Caulfield --- there is finally a female character who is not afraid to tell us what it really is like the moment you leave the safety net of your home and your parents’ inquiring eyes. For the May Queen by Kate Evans is a powerful new debut novel that is destined to secure a place in bibliophile mania, equal to that of Catcher in the Rye.

"I did something I rarely do and that is fell in love with Norma Jean Rogers, the central character after reading the opening lines. By the end of the first chapter, I was hooked, so hooked, I didn’t put the book down until I was finished.

"Norma is a young woman who is off to college and on her own for the first time in her life. She is fearless in her pursuit of discovery of self. Her sense of bravado makes her human and believable as she teeters along that fine line between girlhood and womanhood, and between throwing away the last inhibitions when one suddenly decides that ‘I am an adult.’

"Within a few hours after her parents leave her with bag and baggage at the dorm, Norma is on the floor with three strangers in her underwear. From there it goes on a wild and fun ride through the growing pains of womanhood, life and friendship. The first chapter is full of getting to know Norma and her menagerie of friends who are all memorable in their own right. But it doesn’t stop there and we are continually introduced to new characters who breeze in and out of Norma’s and her other friends’ lives.

"The novel reads like a fine memoir, is often poignant, often funny, and never dull. Yes, there are sex scenes, drinking, wild parties, and an occasional high, but they are done so tastefully, and so honestly, that even as a parent of teenage girls, I have no qualms about them reading the story because I want them to read what young people face in the real world, and perhaps see that growing up is also about making decisions, right or wrong, good or bad, but they are your decisions and choices to make.

"Although the novel is set in the early 1980s, ever decade is a tumultuous era, and even more so, this first decade of this new millennium. I venture to say that throughout history, leaving home has never been more honestly and thought provokingly written about. Taking the steps to achieve adulthood is like riding a roller coaster. Kate Evans is a writer extraordinaire with an equally amazing storytelling voice. For the May Queen is a must read and a book that you won’t be able to put down."