In "Look Away No More," a novel of manners and war, passion and first love, decorum and protests, Tally McCall, a sorority girl and history scholar in Georgia is searching for purpose in a world ablaze.
It's May 1970. Colleges are on the cusp of anarchy while Tally's coastal campus is on the cusp of summer fun.
The only daughter of a prominent Southern family, Tally wants to be nominated for an award to earn a graduate degree at Oxford University. Her competitor is her friend, a brilliant young Black man who would make an outstanding, pioneering and revolutionary choice. Yet wouldn't a "girl" also be a revolutionary choice at a time when Rhodes Scholars are not allowed to be female?
Tally's brother is serving in Vietnam. Her sweetheart is a Yankee. Her mother owns a bridal boutique. Her daddy is a judge. Yet Tally has no desire to marry and worries about the legal consequences of helping a friend escape the draft.
On May 4th, 1970, the killings at Kent State University in Ohio shock Tally and spark her passion for justice. The night of the tragedy Tally is named the Military Gala Queen at nearby Fort Hamper. She must decide how to be true to herself and honor the victims of Kent State, who were her peers, while accepting her new title from a surprise guest in a ballroom full of soldiers.
Tally must also discover ways to navigate through landmines of country club society, stay true to her ideals, seize the power of hidden Georgia history as the only colony of the Original Thirteen to ban slavery in its Royal Charter, and embrace her privileged status to challenge the status quo.
If Dickens had written "A Tale of Two Campuses" and Chaucer had written "The Ingenue's Tale," the combination might celebrate a witty, romantic, brilliant girl during a time of unrest who is determined to prove her abiding creed that "A knowledge of history is the key to survival."
"LOOK AWAY NO MORE is a subtle yet bold critique of American militarism and the senselessness of war. In this novel of manners, both historically and socially alert, the story palpably evokes the tenderness of a fairy tale of young, innocent love. LOOK AWAY NO MORE gives me hope about the human race and the future of the American people."
Jaime Manrique, author of LIKE THIS AFTERNOON FOREVER, LATIN MOON IN MANHATTAN, OUR LIVES ARE THE RIVERS, CERVANTES STREET, TWILIGHT AT THE EQUATOR, and other works.
"This is such Southern writing with its sense of good manners, the sorority, the naivety of the period for a girl like Tally. Humorous yet sad and poignant because of all that's to come and all she doesn't know."
Ron Hansen, author of MARIETTE IN ECSTASY, THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, ATTICUS, and other works.
"LOOK AWAY NO MORE is very much like its protagonist, Tally: full of zest and affection for Southern history, for intellectual endeavor, for her friends--whatever their race. It is, all at once, an earnest history and sociology lesson, a philosophy treatise, a celebration, a mourning, and a love story. Above all, it is a portrait of young feminist ambition and conscience, for Tally is a radical hero. The surprise, given the fun of the rollicking reading, is just how serious the author is and how relevant are her themes of political and historical consciousness. Like any good Southern girl of the time in 1970, Tally, though forthright in her ambition and politics, deeply loves her school and sorority sisters and the state of Georgia. She is complex, and she is fun. So is this surprising story. Simply put, there’s no book like it!"
Sandra Scofield, National Book Award nominee for BEYOND DESERVING, author of THE SCENE BOOK, SWIM, THE LAST DRAFT, A CHANCE TO SEE EGYPT, and other works.