Book Review: In My Heart by Bette Hawkins

Discovering sexual identity in the 1950s. 

Alice is a 24 year-old switchboard operator in a small town. She is also a self taught guitar player who writes songs. She meets the singer she is infatuated with, Dorothy, when attending a concert. After listening to Alice’s music and lyrics, Dorothy invites Alice to join the band and go on tour.

This story unfolds entirely from the perspective of Alice. We are shown her small town life. She lives at home with her parents. Feeling like an outsider, she spends most of her free time with her aunt May. Drinking, listening to shows on the radio, and playing music. 

It was refreshing to have a character that already was aware of her sexual preference. There was no discovery here. Of course, being the 1950s, she had to keep it under wraps.

Dorothy was hot and cold throughout the entire book. And although there were moments of discussion between the two, I didn’t think it was ever fully explained. I didn’t feel like Dorothy ever did anything to make up for it or give any indication that the behavior would change. This negatively affected how I responded to their growing relationship. 

The author built a real chemistry between the two by having them writing songs together, singing, dancing, shared glances, being in each other’s space, touches, etc. 

Side characters were great, but I felt like there was a missed opportunity to have Dirk be a confidant to Alice later in the book.

I wish there would have been dividers between scenes. That threw me off several times while reading.

Overall, I enjoyed this. 

I recommend to those who like romance, music, guitars, honky-tonks, road trips, and hotel rooms.

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