Just Keep Shooting: My Youth in Manhattan
Memoir of a Midwestern Girl in the 1950s and 1960s
$4.99 on Kindle
Those who praised A Penny a Kiss, Judy McConnell’s first memoir about growing up in Minnesota, will not miss a beat as the rebelliousness of her early years continues in this engrossing sequel, Just Keep Shooting: My Youth in Manhattan Memoir of a Midwestern Girl in the 1950s and 1960s. The new book finds her fresh from college and anxious to shake off the past as she strikes out forge a career in the exciting business mecca that was New York City in the Fifties and establish a life as an independent woman in a conformist era when young women were expected to marry and reproduce.
The author’s personal struggles and offbeat adventures in France, California, and most crucially, New York provide fascinating drama. Her search leads her through career crises, roommates, boyfriends, and sexual involvements, and she reveals her feelings with vigorous honesty. An engrossing read, Just Keep Shooting reflects McConnell’s keen ear for detail and an almost photographic memory of events. Ultimately, the memoir is a vivid and heartfelt reminder reflecting a journey many of us growing up in any era can relate to, searching, testing, and experimenting as we forded the turbulent waters of our twenties. But McConnell gives us more: a glimpse of the innocence of the bygone era of the Fifties and the rising spirit of revolt and change that anticipates the upheavals of the Sixties and Seventies as the civil rights and women’s equality movements began to evolve and shape our collective experience.
The road to the promised land is a rocky one. McConnell’s memoir of wanderlust and search for identity captures her struggle to forge a life with one hand in the pragmatic world of work and the other reaching for the remote shining star, towards which she never ceases shooting.
“Wow! What a read!!! What a life!!! I love the radical, questioning Judy…thinking outside the box… ending it all with a magnificent wedding and a cute (quiet) guy! The book is (of course) very well-written. ”
Judy McConnell claims she has become a workhorse, spending glorious summer days at her computer—if she is to be believed—as she packs her retirement years with writing and more writing. Currently she is deep into her third book, a novel, and a collection of short stories. With her remaining hours she reads profusely—there are some great books out there---goes biking with her grandchildren, and squeezes in bridge, theater, and weekends at the lake cabin (accompanied by a laptop, of course). Sometimes, when all shuts down, she actually finds time to sleep in the seclusion of her hideaway in St. Louis Park, MN.