In The Berkeley Girl, In Paris, 1968, Elise Frances Miller catapults the late 1960s beyond media stereotypes that have inflamed opinions of the era for decades. This powerful novel tells the story of Janet Magill, a shy, straight-arrow Berkeley freshman with compelling reasons to join the antiwar movement. Janet’s brother has been shipped off to Vietnam, and Aaron Becker, her childhood sweetheart, might well be next. When Janet’s parents banish her from Berkeley to what they expect will be a safe, idyllic springtime in Paris, she runs headlong into a revolution and falls in love with a secretive Czech dissident.
The story brings to life the historical “Events of May,” in which over ten million French citizens were involved in the only student-worker-bourgeois alliance and true “revolution” that a Western, capitalist democracy had ever experienced. Far from the distant and haunting City of Light, Aaron makes plans to evade the draft and join Janet, then follows her journey through an intense and embattled correspondence. He witnesses the wrenching, transforming exploration of Janet’s capacity for love, responsibility and sacrifice, then loses contact as her “safe” year abroad turns into a dangerous coming of age.
Listen to The Byrds, Janet Magill’s favorite 60s musical group!
The Berkeley Girl is published by Sand Hill Review Press. Visit the SHRP website for special deals and for synopses of this publisher’s many novels, non-fiction books and anthologies.
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“Readers [will] know without doubt that Elise Frances Miller was at UCB and in Paris during the tumultuous 60s. There’s an authenticity to her descriptions of rallies and student protests in Berkeley and in Paris…” -Nancy Woody, novelist
“I had such great time reading this book. Having lived through the campus unrest of the late 60s it caused me to reflect back to my time at the University of Wisconsin… The character development was exceptional, as was the way the author wove together the political unrest of UC Berkeley, Paris and behind the iron curtain. For anyone who lived through the late 60s (or had parents who did) and wrestled with the anti war and military draft issues, it is a must read book. In addition to being very entertaining, it continually presents thoroughly researched historical facts. The reader should be prepared for a number of surprises not the least of which is a great ending.” Jim Nantell, Burlingame, CA
“… a realistic and passionate ride through the Berkeley protests to the violent protests in France. I learned so much about that time… I enjoyed living in France through Janet Magill and was intrigued by her growth, the dangerous adventures and the discoveries of a young woman coming of age. I will miss Janet and Aaron!” -Maurine Killough, author and poet