Those who praised A Penny a Kiss, Judy McConnell’s first memoir about growing up in Minnesota, will not miss a beat as the rebelliousness of her early years continues in this engrossing sequel, Just Keep Shooting: My Youth in Manhattan Memoir of a Midwestern Girl in the 1950s and 1960s. The new book finds her fresh from college and anxious to shake off the past as she strikes out forge a career in the challenging business mecca that was New York City in the Fifties and establish a life as an independent woman in a conformist era when young women were expected to marry and reproduce. Her experiences as a female lose in a male-dominated society where women were blocked at every turn predicted the radical feminist movement of the following decade.
|Just Keep Shooting by Judy McConnell|
The author’s personal struggles and offbeat adventures in France, California, and most crucially, New York provide fascinating drama. Her search leads her through career crises, roommates, boyfriends, and sexual involvements, and she reveals her feelings with vigorous honesty. An engrossing read, Just Keep Shooting reflects McConnell’s keen ear for detail and an almost photographic memory of events. Ultimately, the memoir is a vivid and heartfelt reminder reflecting a journey many of us growing up in any era can relate to, searching, testing, and experimenting as we forded the turbulent waters of our twenties. But McConnell gives us more: a glimpse of the innocence of the bygone era of the Fifties and the rising spirit of revolt and change that anticipates the upheavals of the Sixties and Seventies as the civil rights and women’s equality movements began to evolve and shape our collective experience.
The road to the Promised Land is a rocky one. McConnell’s memoir of wanderlust and search for identity captures her struggle to forge a life with one hand in the pragmatic world of work and the other reaching for the remote shining star, towards which she never ceases shooting.
Check out Judy's book on her Website.