Whatever Normal Is
by Jane St. Anthony
Pub Date 05 Mar 2019
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In the fourth volume of a series set in Minneapolis in the 1960s, three friends navigate relationships and new questions about love and identity
After three years of high school, Margaret still isn’t any closer to what she wants: to sing and dance on Broadway, to be a model like Twiggy, to be madly in love with someone other than Paul McCartney. It’s not much to ask, but with her friends Grace and Isabelle she’s willing to adjust her goals for the summer to a job, a car, and a boyfriend.
When Grace gets a job downtown at the Emerald Cafe, where Teddy, a dreamy college kid, tends the meat buffet, it looks like she, at least, is almost halfway there—until Teddy asks for Margaret’s phone number. “Normal” might not be all it’s cracked up to be (high school graduation, marriage, and housewifery, really?), but as Teddy complicates the girls’ friendship, it slowly becomes apparent that “normal” might mean something different, and infinitely trickier, to him. As the old friends, with adulthood looming, navigate the newly confusing territory of love and sexuality and identity, everything they thought they knew is suddenly, frighteningly thrown into question—and they discover that between the dream of stardom and the certainty of housekeeping there’s a vast unsuspected world of peril and possibility.
With all the tenderness, heartache, and humor of her earlier novels about Margaret, Grace, and Isabelle, in Whatever Normal Is Jane St. Anthony takes the friends, and her readers, to a place beyond normal—to a future as satisfying as it is promising.