Coming February 2021
On a cold winter day when eighty-nine-year old Regina and ninety-year-old Jackie?who met in 1955, an era when women were rounded up and jailed simply for dancing together or dressing like a man?manage to get themselves out of the house. With the help of TJ and Ramon, two young men from their working-class neighborhood in Western Massachusetts, they tie their long-dead Christmas tree to the top of their car and, using a screwdriver in place of a broken gearshift, slowly make the drive to the dump.
This is also the day when everything changes.
In the course of the day, memories are triggered, and their history as a passionate, devoted, but troubled couple at the intersection of historic cultural and political change unfolds via scenes from the past: their first meeting during a police raid on the bar; Regina’s epiphany that she could truly love a woman; Jackie’s persistent infidelity and gambling; a nomadic life often lived apart in the early years as they run away from landlords who discover their secret, toward jobs and a sustainable life, sometimes away from, but always back to each other; the Kennedy assassination, a backdrop to one reconciliation; Jackie’s efforts to convince Regina to marry, Regina’s saying yes.
SALLY BELLEROSE is the award-winning author of The Girls Club, which was awarded a Creative Writing Fellowship from the NEA. Excerpts from the novel have been published in Sinister Wisdom, The Sun, The Best of Writers at Work, Cutthroat, Quarterly West and won the Rick De Marinis Award, the Writers at Work Award, and a Barbara Deming Award. The manuscript was a finalist for the James Jones Fellowship, the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, The Backspace Scholarship, a Lambda Literary Award, an Independent Publishers Award, and a Golden Crown Literary Society Award. As an author, Sally loves to mess with rhythm, rhyme, and awkward emotion, and she is drawn to humor and transcendence. She writes about class, sex, sexuality, gender, illness, absurdity, and lately, growing old.