An Annual Celebration of Readers, Writers, and Books
The Land of Sunshine and Hell: A Memoir of a '60s Unwed Mother
It is 1964 and the Vietnam War is heating up, drafting young men into battle. This is an era in which sex is not discussed at home or at school and children are left in the dark to fend for themselves. It is an era of high morality, anti-war protests, and music that reflected the coming rebellion.
Maxene is seventeen and in love with Romolo, a first-generation Italian American. She discovers she is pregnant; her world comes crashing down around her. She is a good student and has been accepted into college. She is excited about a bright future, fantasizing about marriage and a career as a teacher.
Instead, Maxene will live alone in a town where she knows no one, waiting until the baby is born. Romolo, who is in college, visits clandestinely on occasion.