June 2008 Indie Next List
“In Janis Hallowell's new novel we see the painful consequences of one horribly wrong decision made by a young woman caught up in the swirl of the anti-war movement in the 1970s. Her story will not only resonant with many of us who lived through those times, but it will also speak to another generation confronting their own personal and political decisions.”
— Linda Milleman, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO
Doreen Woods lives an ordinary life. She is a respected dentist, her son has just graduated from high school, and her husband teaches fifth grade. The one flaw is that her brother, Adam, has MS. Even that isn't all that extraordinary. . . . Then, out of nowhere, Janey Marks shows up, bringing the past with her.
In 1971 Doreen was young, idealistic Lucy Johansson. Adam was back from Vietnam, damaged and bitter. Caught up in the anti-war movement Lucy committed a crime that changed everything for both of them.
She Was spans America, coast to coast, over four decades, to give us the story of one young woman who, like many of her generation, tried to change the world and how, thirty-four years later, in a world that still needs changing, she must pay the consequences.
About the Author
Janis Hallowell, author of The Annunciation of Francesca Dunn, is a MacDowell Fellow, and her short fiction has been published in Ploughshares. She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.
“[S]pellbinding...evokes pathos without being sentimental...It’s a story set in the turbulent, emotional times of the Vietnam war. The beliefs of sons and daughters are set against the values of their own parents as American living rooms became increasingly hostile places. [P]owerful...harrowing.”
-Kash's Book Corner on SHE WAS
“Hallowell’s text... is razor sharp.... And few writers could match her depiction of Adam’s battle with multiple sclerosis....SHE WAS sustains a steady level of suspense for such a character-driven piece.”
-Sunday Denver Post on SHE WAS