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"The Lockhart Women" is Mary Camarillo's debut novel, published by She Writes Press in June of 2021. It's a mother/daughter/sister story set in Huntington Beach, California and is about choices and regrets, with the OJ Simpson trial as background noise.
Brenda Lockhart's husband announces he's leaving her for a woman he works with at the post office. He drops this bombshell on the night of Simpson's slow speed chase through Southern California, June 17, 1994. Brenda has never worked outside the home and needs to find a job. Instead, she turns on the television and gets hooked on the trial. Meanwhile, her two teenage daughters make their own bad decisions about lovers and crime.
2021 FIRST PLACE AWARD, NEXT GENERATION INDIES, First Fiction Over 90,000 words
2021 FINALIST, American Book Awards, Women's Fiction
Quarter Finalist Booklife Prize for General Fiction 2021
PRAISE FOR THE LOCKHART WOMEN
"A family is thrown into chaos in 1990s Southern California in Camarillo's debut...and the novel's ending is a satisfying one. An emotional portrait of three women dealing unexpected change." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Mary Camarillo's prose is lively, companionable, and quite satisfyingly observant in ways that surprise and delight. It's as if a friendly someone you know quite well is murmuring in your ear, and that voice is giving you living presences. I will not soon forget Brenda Lockhart and her daughters. And how well the novelist has used history as backdrop here, in the art form that in fact succeeds best when history is the canvas across which the drama takes place. Bravo, Ms. Camarillo.”
RICHARD BAUSCH, award-winning author of nine story collections and twelve novels including "Peace" and "Hello to the Cannibals."
“The Lockhart Women is deeply and thoroughly Southern Californian, in all the perfectly detailed cities and streets and, of course, freeways, but also in the evocation of its time - the 1990s. These women are vivid portraits - flawed and desperate and seeking redemption -- in this page-turner."
SUSAN STRAIGHT, award-winning author of the memoir “In the Country of Women,” eight novels and two children’s books
"With control, compassion, and surprising humor, Camarillo dissects how a modern family comes apart, the chaos we create in relationships and, short of murder, what we might do about it. Unputdownable."
EDUARDO SANTIAGO, award-winning author of "Tomorrow They Will Kiss" and "Midnight Rhumba."
"An intimate portrayal of a Southern California working class family. Brenda Lockhart and her two daughters are complicated and not always admirable characters, but they are relentlessly human. Camarillo laces their story with concise prose, dry humor, and flinty realism, allowing love, resilience, hope and eventual forgiveness to shine through."
SAMANTHA DUNN, best selling author of" "Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life"
"Like Mona Simpson’s "Anywhere but Here," The Lockhart Women sensitively illustrates what happens to children coming of age under the influence of childish parents. But unlike Simpson, Camarillo provides hope that everyone—parents and children—can grow and develop. An authentically hopeful and realistic novel."
SHELLEY BLANTON-STROUD, Award Winning Author of "Copy Boy"
“OJ’s famous white Bronco flight and his trial for murder is the perfect backdrop for this story of a mother and her two daughters watching their lives implode. Great writing, compelling, and fast-paced, The Lockhart Women is impossible to put down.”
DIANA WAGMAN, award winning author of six novels: "Extraordinary October," "The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets," "Life #6," "Spontaneous," "Skin Deep," and "Bump."
“The Lockhart Women -- Brenda and her teenage daughters Peggy and Allison -- make mistake after mistake in this delightful debut novel, but that's part of their charm. Set against the backdrop of the OJ Simpson trial, we're witness to a family unraveling. Touching on themes of motherhood, fidelity, and responsibility, this is a coming-of-age tale for both Brenda and her daughters, teaching us that the indelible bonds of love can steer families through the roughest of passages.”
JULIE ZUCKERMAN, author of "The Book of Jeremiah"
THE LOCKHART WOMEN COCKTAIL
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