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The Lockhart Women

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Brenda Lockhart’s family has been living well beyond their means for too long when Brenda’s husband leaves them—for an older and less attractive woman than Brenda, no less. Brenda’s never worked outside the home, and the family’s economic situation quickly declines. Oldest daughter Peggy is certain she’s heading off to a university, until her father offers her a job sortin Brenda Lockhart’s family has been living well beyond their means for too long when Brenda’s husband leaves them—for an older and less attractive woman than Brenda, no less. Brenda’s never worked outside the home, and the family’s economic situation quickly declines. Oldest daughter Peggy is certain she’s heading off to a university, until her father offers her a job sorting mail while she attends community college instead. Younger daughter Allison, a high school senior, can’t believe her luck that California golden boy Kevin has fallen in love with her. Meanwhile, the chatter about the O. J. Simpson murder investigations is always on in the background, a media frenzy that underscores domestic violence against women and race and class divisions in Southern California. Brenda, increasingly obsessed with the case, is convinced O. J. is innocent and has been framed by the LAPD. Both daughters are more interested in their own lives, until Peggy starts noticing bruises Allison can’t explain. For a while, it feels to everyone as if the family is falling apart; but in the end, they all come together again in unexpected ways.


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Brenda Lockhart’s family has been living well beyond their means for too long when Brenda’s husband leaves them—for an older and less attractive woman than Brenda, no less. Brenda’s never worked outside the home, and the family’s economic situation quickly declines. Oldest daughter Peggy is certain she’s heading off to a university, until her father offers her a job sortin Brenda Lockhart’s family has been living well beyond their means for too long when Brenda’s husband leaves them—for an older and less attractive woman than Brenda, no less. Brenda’s never worked outside the home, and the family’s economic situation quickly declines. Oldest daughter Peggy is certain she’s heading off to a university, until her father offers her a job sorting mail while she attends community college instead. Younger daughter Allison, a high school senior, can’t believe her luck that California golden boy Kevin has fallen in love with her. Meanwhile, the chatter about the O. J. Simpson murder investigations is always on in the background, a media frenzy that underscores domestic violence against women and race and class divisions in Southern California. Brenda, increasingly obsessed with the case, is convinced O. J. is innocent and has been framed by the LAPD. Both daughters are more interested in their own lives, until Peggy starts noticing bruises Allison can’t explain. For a while, it feels to everyone as if the family is falling apart; but in the end, they all come together again in unexpected ways.

30 review for The Lockhart Women

  1. 5 out of 5

    Val (pagespoursandpups)

    Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this book. It took me by surprise how quickly I blew through this one. I loved reading about this dysfunctional family and the ways in which each of the women specifically tried to cope after the patriarch of the family has an affair and leaves. The main characters are Brenda (the mom), Peggy (the serious, studious daughter) and Allison (the beautiful drifter). While never seemingly close, this sudden change causes even more distance in their relationships with Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this book. It took me by surprise how quickly I blew through this one. I loved reading about this dysfunctional family and the ways in which each of the women specifically tried to cope after the patriarch of the family has an affair and leaves. The main characters are Brenda (the mom), Peggy (the serious, studious daughter) and Allison (the beautiful drifter). While never seemingly close, this sudden change causes even more distance in their relationships with each other. The character development in this story is top notch. Each character had her own strengths, idiosyncrasies, ideas and deficiencies. The character-driven story is set in Southern California during the Nicole Simpson murder, the OJ Simpson Bronco police chase and the resulting televised trial of OJ. It was so interesting to go back to visit that time in history before social media, when TV and the news were basically the only way to hear about current events. It reminded me of how consumed the American public became with the trial and the assumption of guilt or innocence of OJ. Mary Camarillo did an outstanding job of weaving aspects of the case and the trial into the story of these 3 women, leading the reader to see the parallels between the two. Told through alternating points of view, I didn't personally identify with any of the characters, but I was pulled in as I tried to understand the motivations for their bad judgment and misplaced loyalties. Growing up with a mother who valued beauty and attention over everything else forced the daughters to struggle with self-image and sense of value. A reoccurring theme emerged as women taking a back seat to the men they loved because each thought they deserved nothing more. It was refreshing to see each character grow and mature through the book until each one found more self-love and independence. There was only one redeeming male in the book, and he didn't appear until close to the end. Interesting that all the other men portrayed in the book were worthless, mentally and physically abusive, self-centered and egotistical jerks. And each one was brought into the book by one of the three women. Seems like maybe there is a pattern of bad male choices here... I recommend that you grab this book ASAP. Thank you to BookSparks and Mary Camarillo for the advance copy to read and review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan Z

    It's the mid 1990s in California, and Brenda's husband leaves her to be with a coworker. Brenda is left with her 2 teen girls. Fun times are ahead for Brenda as teen girls are not the easiest souls to get along with (I am lucky my girls are pretty wonderful, but we have had our share of hiccups) I loved the reference to the OJ case. Anybody old enough in the mid 1990s knew about that case. I watched as much of the coverage as possible. The whole thing was disturbingly fascinating. Brenda was ext It's the mid 1990s in California, and Brenda's husband leaves her to be with a coworker. Brenda is left with her 2 teen girls. Fun times are ahead for Brenda as teen girls are not the easiest souls to get along with (I am lucky my girls are pretty wonderful, but we have had our share of hiccups) I loved the reference to the OJ case. Anybody old enough in the mid 1990s knew about that case. I watched as much of the coverage as possible. The whole thing was disturbingly fascinating. Brenda was extremely obsessed with case, it consumed most of her free time. Meanwhile she needed to come to grips with losing her husband and everything that entailed including trying to find a job after 20 years out of the workforce. Her daughters were trying to find their own way as well, juggling responsibilities of school and work. The women were so flawed in this story, making countless mistakes along the way. The relationships lacked the love necessary to forge their new path and my heart broke for them. Other times I was cringing at their poor choices. This is a baring all tale of dysfunctional families, and it broke my heart for them all. I sure am thankful for the family I have.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    Set in my hometown of Southern California in the 90’s, and the backdrop of the OJ Simpson trial, Camarillo’s riveting debut The Lockhart Women portrays an intimate look into the heart and soul of a middle class family coming undone. Well written Unputdownable Fast Paced Enough said, read this book!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    A compelling, character driven novel, The Lockhart Women introduces mother Brenda and her two daughters. The women are very different and make remarkable personal journeys through the plot which fizzes with danger and excitement. Their stories juxtapose with the trial of OJ Simpson adding an intriguing dimension to the book. With great characters and a strong storyline, this novel has broad appeal. Why not give it a try?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gina Troisi

    The Lockhart Women is the best novel I have read in a long, long while. This is a story so engaging and so well-written that at times I forgot I was actually reading. I lost myself in this book during the two days it took me to read it (I blew off my entire to-do list because I could not put it down, and I do not have even a smidge of regret), but these characters have still stayed with me for weeks after turning the last page. This story has so much beauty, humanity, darkness, and honesty, and The Lockhart Women is the best novel I have read in a long, long while. This is a story so engaging and so well-written that at times I forgot I was actually reading. I lost myself in this book during the two days it took me to read it (I blew off my entire to-do list because I could not put it down, and I do not have even a smidge of regret), but these characters have still stayed with me for weeks after turning the last page. This story has so much beauty, humanity, darkness, and honesty, and the characters could not feel more true to life. The southern California setting is described so fully and skillfully that it feels like its own prominent character. This narrative is such an important reminder of a very specific place in time in American history, but it also while explores relevant class issues, and the inner workings of flawed, authentic characters, and reminds us of the way humans respond to love and overcome loss. I highly recommend this amazing book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader

    Do you enjoy stories about dysfunctional families? Then you have go to read this one. Camarillo pulls you in with these true to life characters. This is a must read you will fly through this book. 4 stars and I recommend it. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and She Writes Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. If you grew up in Orange County in the ‘90s and/or have ever lived in the area, you’ll be in for an added sense of place and reminiscence, not to mention quite a narrative. Updated 6/1/21 4.5 stars The titular Lockhart women include Brenda, the mother; Peggy, the book smart oldest daughter; and Allison, the stunning youngest daughter. When readers meet t Thanks to NetGalley and She Writes Press for this arc, which I received in exchange for an honest review. I’ll post that review upon publication. If you grew up in Orange County in the ‘90s and/or have ever lived in the area, you’ll be in for an added sense of place and reminiscence, not to mention quite a narrative. Updated 6/1/21 4.5 stars The titular Lockhart women include Brenda, the mother; Peggy, the book smart oldest daughter; and Allison, the stunning youngest daughter. When readers meet the characters, the unusual structure of the novel becomes clear; the entire work is punctuated by O.J. Simpson-related moments. While I wasn't quite sure how I felt about this at first, I grew to love not only the ways in which it transported me back to these exact times in my own life (especially as a Southern California native who is very close to the age of the daughters here) but also to how this broader structure enhances the themes throughout the work. Camarillo expertly draws forth the sense of time and place here. I was - for better and for worse - transported right back into these places and moments, and to me that is a powerful testament to the writer's skill. I didn't feel like I was just observing the characters; I felt like they were living in an alternate universe right alongside my past self. This is a standout aspect of this novel for me. The three central characters are challenging in the sense that they are all constantly making anxiety provoking, terrible choices. Rather than feeling frustrated with these choices, I found myself tearing through this novel to find out what they'd do next, if they'd overcome, and generally what sort of messages they'd send about women's potential at this time. Because the central characters are white, it makes sense that they would have had less awareness of the racial tensions that most people experience/d in direct relation to this case. There is one particularly well executed scene in a restroom post-verdict that captures this privileged detachment and simultaneous hint of awareness. I'd have liked to see a bit more of that as well as some tying up of loose ends (that I'll leave vague to remain spoiler-free). I enjoyed this very much, and I am already having that sense that I will appreciate it even more over time. TW: sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and discussions of the Simpson crime scene, etc.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elissa Dickey

    This was a wonderful story of Brenda and her two almost-grown daughters, Peggy and Allison. With skilled prose, Camarillo tells a captivating tale as we watch Brenda trying to pick up the pieces after her marriage falls apart, set against the backdrop of the 1990s OJ Simpson trial. Peggy and Allison find their lives turned upside down, and their mom is not the greatest role model at all times. Both girls struggle with their choices, but as a reader you are completely drawn in. The characters are This was a wonderful story of Brenda and her two almost-grown daughters, Peggy and Allison. With skilled prose, Camarillo tells a captivating tale as we watch Brenda trying to pick up the pieces after her marriage falls apart, set against the backdrop of the 1990s OJ Simpson trial. Peggy and Allison find their lives turned upside down, and their mom is not the greatest role model at all times. Both girls struggle with their choices, but as a reader you are completely drawn in. The characters are so real with their flaws and vulnerabilities, and you are absolutely rooting for them all the way to the beautifully satisfying ending. The Lockhart Women is a remarkable debut from an author to watch!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Blanton-Stroud

    I read an advanced reader copy of The Lockhart Women and I loved it. Camarillo builds a real Southern California family, and real people who surround them. Because they are so real, they generally create many of their own troubles. Never in an unbelievable way. I find myself nodding, thinking, Well she put herself in that situation... I put this one on the shelf next to Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here--extremely high praise. Though the novel begins with OJ Simpson's slow freeway chase, that's n I read an advanced reader copy of The Lockhart Women and I loved it. Camarillo builds a real Southern California family, and real people who surround them. Because they are so real, they generally create many of their own troubles. Never in an unbelievable way. I find myself nodding, thinking, Well she put herself in that situation... I put this one on the shelf next to Mona Simpson's Anywhere But Here--extremely high praise. Though the novel begins with OJ Simpson's slow freeway chase, that's not the plot. It's the setting, the water in which the Lockhart Women swim, horrible, glorious, dangerous, beautiful. I can't wait to reread this one.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Rasmussen

    I couldn’t put this book down! “The Lockhart Women” beautifully explores the relationship between a mother and her two daughters and the evolution of them getting stronger within themselves. Mary Camarillo weaves a story that keeps you turning pages and wondering what will happen next. The book deals with issues about teen angst, divorce, relationships, abuse, and family love, amongst the backdrop of the O.J. Simpson trial which was very clever. The characters in “The Lockhart Women” will stay w I couldn’t put this book down! “The Lockhart Women” beautifully explores the relationship between a mother and her two daughters and the evolution of them getting stronger within themselves. Mary Camarillo weaves a story that keeps you turning pages and wondering what will happen next. The book deals with issues about teen angst, divorce, relationships, abuse, and family love, amongst the backdrop of the O.J. Simpson trial which was very clever. The characters in “The Lockhart Women” will stay with me for a long time.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Faichney

    Mary Camarillo's debut novel uses the OJ Simpson trial as a backdrop and distraction for Brenda as she navigates the end of her marriage. Spanning 1994 to 2008, the novel centres around the lives of badass Brenda and her two daughters as they cope with divorce, relocation, finances, jobs and relationships. I particularly enjoyed the swift, snappy dialogue. It's an interesting concept executed well. The characters are well-rounded and I found it to be an unexpectedly compulsive read. Mary Camarillo's debut novel uses the OJ Simpson trial as a backdrop and distraction for Brenda as she navigates the end of her marriage. Spanning 1994 to 2008, the novel centres around the lives of badass Brenda and her two daughters as they cope with divorce, relocation, finances, jobs and relationships. I particularly enjoyed the swift, snappy dialogue. It's an interesting concept executed well. The characters are well-rounded and I found it to be an unexpectedly compulsive read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Nutting

    As the cover blurb says, it was unputdownable - chick lit or trash, a bit of both! If you looked up dysfunctional in a dictionary you would find these three smiling up at you - Brenda was a lousy mother and her two daughters weren’t much better. Fortunately I grew up in Southern California when Orange County actually had orange groves and Disneyland was just a twinkle in Walt’s eye!! It has deteriorated rapidly and thus you get a look into the deranged lives of the current population!! A debut nove As the cover blurb says, it was unputdownable - chick lit or trash, a bit of both! If you looked up dysfunctional in a dictionary you would find these three smiling up at you - Brenda was a lousy mother and her two daughters weren’t much better. Fortunately I grew up in Southern California when Orange County actually had orange groves and Disneyland was just a twinkle in Walt’s eye!! It has deteriorated rapidly and thus you get a look into the deranged lives of the current population!! A debut novel with good dialogue and a bizarre plot.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Story Circle Book Reviews

    At the start of The Lockhart Women, author Mary Camarillo introduces us to Brenda, a former stay-at-home mom, and her husband Frank. The two are driving erratically down a highway in San Diego, California to get to a party at a fellow postal worker’s new condo. Linda is described as single, with big horsey teeth—no terms of endearment for her! Turns out, she is Frank’s new love interest and before long, he wants a divorce and moves into Linda’s new condo. Change is a catalyst moving the story fo At the start of The Lockhart Women, author Mary Camarillo introduces us to Brenda, a former stay-at-home mom, and her husband Frank. The two are driving erratically down a highway in San Diego, California to get to a party at a fellow postal worker’s new condo. Linda is described as single, with big horsey teeth—no terms of endearment for her! Turns out, she is Frank’s new love interest and before long, he wants a divorce and moves into Linda’s new condo. Change is a catalyst moving the story forward. Frank and Brenda have two daughters. Peggy, brown-eyed and blond, has aspirations to finish college, but takes a job at the post office to help with expenses. Younger Allison, with red hair and green eyes, is a senior in high school and has a surfer boy friend who, although a respected athlete in town, is physically abusive to Allison. The complications brought by the subsequent behavior of these two daughters may seem exasperating over time, but each of the Lockhart women is caught in her own desperate search for a definition of women’s roles in the mid-nineties. In the backdrop, the reader hears the constant stream of OJ Simpson’s trial and ultimate acquittal for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. There is a touching moment when the three Lockhart women are at home and Camarillo writes, “When they get home, the television is off, and Brenda has actually showered and put on a sundress. Allison chops veggies as Brenda mixes salad dressing. When she offers to light the barbecue, Brenda grins. 'Thanks dear. Us Lockhart women are resourceful, right? We’re doing just fine on our own.'” A reader may get a different picture though, as drinking, drugs, stealing, an unexpected pregnancy, lies, selling the house, and forgotten goals threaten to swallow the family whole. Their resources seem both limited and detrimental in propelling them forward toward self-sufficiency. Mary Camarillo’s writing style is fluid with description. It reads almost like a screen play as the reader is able to imagine a 360-degree view of everything going on at any time. Small details of place become integral to each chapter and may seem overwhelming at times. The author has a knack for presenting the challenges and triumphs facing American working-class families. The novel has many characters and is told by an omniscient narrator. Camarillo does not lecture her readers; she merely exposes her characters’ vulnerabilities. She uses a style of narration, snarky at times, that slips only once into first person. Willa Cather once wrote, “The end is nothing. The road is all.” Mary Camarillo’s novel turns that expression on its ear, for it is only at the end of her novel that a reader finds a sense of renewed hope for the Lockhart women. Until then, their horizons are shrouded by lack of direction, poor choices, unfortunate circumstances, and lack of funds. What remains for them, however, is a landscape of love shaped by family, in whatever twentieth-century form that takes. This is a story for mothers or daughters on the verge of losing hope. Its raw honesty and unadulterated accounting may make some younger readers reconsider how their light is spent. It may remind mothers of the amazing redemptive power of family. Story Circle Book Reviews thanks Shawn LaTorre for this review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Hixson

    ~ 𝑷𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒆 ~ A coming-of-age story about one woman and her teenage daughters making through some very difficult times in all their lives. Brenda Lockhart's husband has left her, she has never worked outside the home, and the family’s economic situation quickly declines. Peggy the oldest and smartest daughter is certain she’s heading off to a university, until her father offers her a job sorting mail while she attends community college instead. Younger daughter Allison, a high school senior lives i ~ 𝑷𝒓𝒆𝒎𝒊𝒔𝒆 ~ A coming-of-age story about one woman and her teenage daughters making through some very difficult times in all their lives. Brenda Lockhart's husband has left her, she has never worked outside the home, and the family’s economic situation quickly declines. Peggy the oldest and smartest daughter is certain she’s heading off to a university, until her father offers her a job sorting mail while she attends community college instead. Younger daughter Allison, a high school senior lives in a hazy cloud of blinding love with golden boy Kevin. Meanwhile, the chatter about the O. J. Simpson murder investigations is always on in the background, a media frenzy that underscores domestic violence against women and race and class divisions in Southern California. Brenda, increasingly obsessed with the case, is convinced O. J. is innocent and has been framed by the LAPD. ~ 𝑴𝒚 𝑻𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔 ~ The Lockhart Women all carry something throughout this story. Secrets, sex, drugs, abuse, kleptomania and much more. These three women are all broken throughout this novel and at times it hard to not want to scream at them. Mrs. Lockhart drove me completely mad. Shallow, selfish and berating at times. I'm glad my opinion changed a little by end of the novel. The teenagers are a complete mess, but also broken and unaware of the surroundings. They do get better as well. I salute the author on creating an interesting family and recreating the O.J Simpson trial in the back ground. She has done a great job for her first novel. I was very surprised how much of O.J. Simpson trial was incorporated into this novel. 1994 I was 8 years old so I wasn't fully aware about it. At some point in my life, I must have heard more about it but I don't quite remember hearing much about it when I was eight, I'm sure parents or teachers around me talked about. Thank you @booksparks and @shewritespress for the gifted copy for the 𝑺𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒆𝒓 𝑷𝒐𝒑-𝑼𝒑 𝑩𝒐𝒐𝒌 𝑻𝒐𝒖𝒓.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stacy40pages

    The Lockhart Women by Mary Camarillo. Thanks to @booksparks and @shewritespress for the gifted copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Taking place in San Diego during the OJ Simpson trial, the Lockharts are falling apart. The father has left, the mother is reeling, and the two girls are dealing with their own dramas. I loved this book in the beginning and middle. The end dragged a little bit for me but I think that was more my state of mind than the book. It was super interesting to read about the OJ trial as a backstory t The Lockhart Women by Mary Camarillo. Thanks to @booksparks and @shewritespress for the gifted copy ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Taking place in San Diego during the OJ Simpson trial, the Lockharts are falling apart. The father has left, the mother is reeling, and the two girls are dealing with their own dramas. I loved this book in the beginning and middle. The end dragged a little bit for me but I think that was more my state of mind than the book. It was super interesting to read about the OJ trial as a backstory to the book. I remember it when I was a kid and also, I met OJ when I was little (swipe). This was the ultimate family drama book if you enjoy stories about daughters, sisters, and mothers. I really enjoyed each of the girls’ storylines and how they grew and learned along the way. “It’s so predictable how her mom immediately steers the conversation to the superficial. Peggy’s grateful though. The consistency is comforting.” The Lockhart Women comes out 6/1.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Tabitha

    Mary Camarillo paints a vivid picture of a family through the eyes of its women, a mother and two daughters who are struggling to figure out how they fit in the world. The O.J. saga is a rich backdrop for this story of how their lives are changed when the husband/father leaves his family for another woman. The writing is elegant and sure-footed, and the reader is easily transported into the story, rich with detail and believable, flawed characters. The women make mistakes and are relatable with Mary Camarillo paints a vivid picture of a family through the eyes of its women, a mother and two daughters who are struggling to figure out how they fit in the world. The O.J. saga is a rich backdrop for this story of how their lives are changed when the husband/father leaves his family for another woman. The writing is elegant and sure-footed, and the reader is easily transported into the story, rich with detail and believable, flawed characters. The women make mistakes and are relatable with their weaknesses and foibles. The end was very satisfying and brought all of the story lines together. All the stars for this one -- it will stay with me for a while!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sari Fordham

    If you live in California, like complex characters, love novels grounded in a historical time period, or enjoy compelling plots, then this novel is for you. I loved The Lockhart Women and was so interested in the attentiveness to place and the honesty of the characters. Highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Great story on family and resilience. I started reading and could not stop. The author spins a story that grabs you and keeps you engaged in the lives of the Lockhart women.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brenda Feinen

    Considering I was barely a teenager when OJ did his infamous freeway drive, the white Chevy entombed in American history - I have strong memories of this time. The author weaves this time in American history expertly through this story - giving the plot momentum as well as pop culture references. The Lockhart women begin this story watching OJ's infamous chase first hand - stuck in traffic, people left their cars on the freeway to watch in fascination as OJ lead the police on a slow journey to t Considering I was barely a teenager when OJ did his infamous freeway drive, the white Chevy entombed in American history - I have strong memories of this time. The author weaves this time in American history expertly through this story - giving the plot momentum as well as pop culture references. The Lockhart women begin this story watching OJ's infamous chase first hand - stuck in traffic, people left their cars on the freeway to watch in fascination as OJ lead the police on a slow journey to turn himself in. The progress of the trial fills the background after the dad moves out to live with his latest girlfriend. Typical for this time period, he provides the financial support yet falls out of his daughters' lives. But he certainly has an opinion. Brenda, Peggy and Allison tell this story - Brenda the well kept wife, Peggy the nerdy daughter expected to sacrifice, Allison the beauty who has no value beyond her looks. For me - this book just reinforced the importance of the women in life. Brenda pulls herself out of drinking and massive depression, while building a great friendship Laura, the maternal neighbor. Peggy is forced to sacrifice her college plans for the local collage, work at the post office full time to help support her family. Allison dates Kevin - he becomes her entire focus, while Kevin expands his control. Great book - well earned nominations.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan Ballard

    This is a dynamic blend of family drama and coming-of-age stories, all set within a historical backdrop. Brenda Lockhart is angry and shocked when her husband announces that he is leaving her for his co-worker. Her teenage daughters, Alison and Peggy, are not exactly sympathetic. The same day that Brenda’s cheating husband leaves her, O.J. Simpson leads the LAPD on a slow chase down the freeway. As the media frenzy takes off on the O.J. murder case, Brenda becomes fixated on it. Meanwhile, Alison This is a dynamic blend of family drama and coming-of-age stories, all set within a historical backdrop. Brenda Lockhart is angry and shocked when her husband announces that he is leaving her for his co-worker. Her teenage daughters, Alison and Peggy, are not exactly sympathetic. The same day that Brenda’s cheating husband leaves her, O.J. Simpson leads the LAPD on a slow chase down the freeway. As the media frenzy takes off on the O.J. murder case, Brenda becomes fixated on it. Meanwhile, Alison and Peggy are coming into their own. Peggy is bright and career-oriented, while Alison is reckless and gets involved with an abusive druggy. These Lockhart women are strong, but honestly a little unlikeable characters. As the trial progresses (many of you might recall it back in 1994-1995), we see Brenda’s character actually develop and grow, while her daughters’ lives seem to spiral as they make poor and unexpected decisions. I enjoyed the flawed characters, the Southern California vibe, and the trial as a historical signpost. It’s easy to see why 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗟𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗵𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗪𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗻 is a winner of the Next Generation Indie Book Award. Thank you to @suzyapprovedbooktours and @marycamel13 for an invite to the tour and a gifted copy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Molly Jaber (Page Turners And Sweet Tea)

    This debut novel is one you will not want to miss. Mary Camarillo has a unique style that instantly enveloped me and kept me hooked for the entire story. Her characters were beautifully chiseled and came to life for me as I turned the pages of their story. Each page brought me something new and I loved that! With a beautifully penned plot line and intricately woven details, I felt like I was watching a movie play out before me. I love when a book can do that for me! I loved how Camarillo added t This debut novel is one you will not want to miss. Mary Camarillo has a unique style that instantly enveloped me and kept me hooked for the entire story. Her characters were beautifully chiseled and came to life for me as I turned the pages of their story. Each page brought me something new and I loved that! With a beautifully penned plot line and intricately woven details, I felt like I was watching a movie play out before me. I love when a book can do that for me! I loved how Camarillo added the O.J. Simpson trial into the story and gave it a pop! If you are looking for a roller coaster of a read, a novel that will make you think, and make you chuckle a time or two, then you need to pick this one up. You’ll settle in with this book, turn page after page and before you know, you’ll be saying goodbye to these characters that have become family. Four stars and high recs for this one! *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Author/Publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.*

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debra Thomas

    Excellent debut novel with fully realized characters, fine attention to detail of time and place, and a plot line that skillfully follows three women—mother, Brenda, and her two daughters, Peggy and Allison—through the twists and turns of a family in crisis. All of this is set within the time frame of the O.J. Simpson car chase and the subsequent murder trial that captivated the nation. Brenda, who is struggling to come to terms with a divorce that is forcing her to make a life for herself, init Excellent debut novel with fully realized characters, fine attention to detail of time and place, and a plot line that skillfully follows three women—mother, Brenda, and her two daughters, Peggy and Allison—through the twists and turns of a family in crisis. All of this is set within the time frame of the O.J. Simpson car chase and the subsequent murder trial that captivated the nation. Brenda, who is struggling to come to terms with a divorce that is forcing her to make a life for herself, initially prefers drinking and losing herself in the daily trial coverage. Her daughters are making poor choices, while her ex-husband has found happiness elsewhere. Ultimately, the novel’s ending is much more satisfying than the jury’s verdict. The personal growth is believable, moments of love and connection are genuine, and the sense of hope for the future is tempered by the unpredictability of a flawed and fragile world.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather Frese

    The Lockhart Women make a lot of mistakes, and this is why I loved them and rooted for them to succeed. We’re introduced to their story the night of the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase, following which, Brenda discovers her husband’s affair. Told from alternating perspectives of Brenda and daughters Peggy and Allison, the novel follows the aftermath of Brenda and Frank’s divorce, including a storyline with Allison that tensely begins to mirror that of O.J. and Nicole. And like I said, these women The Lockhart Women make a lot of mistakes, and this is why I loved them and rooted for them to succeed. We’re introduced to their story the night of the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase, following which, Brenda discovers her husband’s affair. Told from alternating perspectives of Brenda and daughters Peggy and Allison, the novel follows the aftermath of Brenda and Frank’s divorce, including a storyline with Allison that tensely begins to mirror that of O.J. and Nicole. And like I said, these women all make mistakes as they navigate their changing lives, but they all grow in a very satisfying way. The book is also a gem in the way it snapshots Southern California in the 1990s. A fun and engaging read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ethel Rohan

    Even more that this debut novel's compelling use of the O.J. Simpson trial(s) as backdrop, I appreciated the broader cultural commentary throughout this largely 90s narrative, particularly how it mirrors patriarchy, misogyny, and toxic masculinity, and how women can in turn internalize such devaluing and persecution. I also admired the honesty with which Camarillo depicted the three deeply flawed Lockhart women--there were moments where I cringed--for they are snapshots of our deeply flawed soci Even more that this debut novel's compelling use of the O.J. Simpson trial(s) as backdrop, I appreciated the broader cultural commentary throughout this largely 90s narrative, particularly how it mirrors patriarchy, misogyny, and toxic masculinity, and how women can in turn internalize such devaluing and persecution. I also admired the honesty with which Camarillo depicted the three deeply flawed Lockhart women--there were moments where I cringed--for they are snapshots of our deeply flawed society and a call for us all to do and be better.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    The story of Brenda Lockhart - and her teenaged daughters Peggy and Allison - kicks off with the startling (to her) revelation that her husband is leaving her. An announcement set to the background noise of OJ Simpson’s televised car chase through California. Like the public, slow speed chase, Brenda’s acceptance of this new reality is slow and confusing, but the fallout for her family is inevitably intense. Brenda - like the rest of the country - becomes fixated on the trial, and as evidence is The story of Brenda Lockhart - and her teenaged daughters Peggy and Allison - kicks off with the startling (to her) revelation that her husband is leaving her. An announcement set to the background noise of OJ Simpson’s televised car chase through California. Like the public, slow speed chase, Brenda’s acceptance of this new reality is slow and confusing, but the fallout for her family is inevitably intense. Brenda - like the rest of the country - becomes fixated on the trial, and as evidence is revealed and legal strategies are explored, Brenda must figure out how to move forward and keep her family together. While I didn’t relate to - or particularly like - any of the characters throughout the majority of the book, I appreciated the journeys they took individually and as a family as their storylines played out. I thought setting the story to the background of the Simpson investigation and trials was such a unique idea - and not only an interesting way to show the passage of time, but also a really interesting parallel to the evolution of the characters. I also love a book that sends me down a research rabbit hole. I remember following the trial to the extent that a 10 year old in CT is able to - through magazine headlines at the grocery store and snippets of news stories - but was interested in looking more into it now as an adult, and with the experience of having watched other highly publicized trials play out. I think it’s so wild to think about how much things have changed since then, and to think how differently (or maybe similarly) the case would play out in today’s climate.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Very sweet story. Fun to read something set in OC.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    One selfish act by Frank Lockhart will forever change the trajectory of the lives of his wife and two daughters. The only person I liked for the majority of the book was Peggy. She had a plan And ambition. She made a bad choice but dealt with it. Brenda floundered for much of the book and I liked her much better after she got her act together. I didn't care for Allison at all. It was an interesting plot, to revolve around the OJ Simpson saga. I can remember awaiting the verdict, very similar to One selfish act by Frank Lockhart will forever change the trajectory of the lives of his wife and two daughters. The only person I liked for the majority of the book was Peggy. She had a plan And ambition. She made a bad choice but dealt with it. Brenda floundered for much of the book and I liked her much better after she got her act together. I didn't care for Allison at all. It was an interesting plot, to revolve around the OJ Simpson saga. I can remember awaiting the verdict, very similar to the office scene depicted in the book. Thanks to NetGalley and She Writes Press for the early read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    The Lockhart women is an exploration through the complexities of family life. From marriage to parenthood to the difficult teenage years. The plot is woven with the OJ Simpson murder trial and I appreciated the step back in time before social media and cell phones. Camarillo reminds us that growth is needed at every age and every turn in life. Hope can be found when we allow ourselves to grow and learn and hold onto one another while navigating the murky waters of the mother-daughter connection, The Lockhart women is an exploration through the complexities of family life. From marriage to parenthood to the difficult teenage years. The plot is woven with the OJ Simpson murder trial and I appreciated the step back in time before social media and cell phones. Camarillo reminds us that growth is needed at every age and every turn in life. Hope can be found when we allow ourselves to grow and learn and hold onto one another while navigating the murky waters of the mother-daughter connection, heartache, broken promises, and ever-shifting life circumstances.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I'm super busy with projects and not a fast reader, so it may take a few weeks for me to get through a book. This was definitely not the case with The Lockhart Women! I read this novel in a few days and got behind on my to-do list. It's that good! I found it incredibly compelling and perfectly paced. Even though the characters were difficult to like at times, I was engaged with them and hoping things would turn around. Some of the unlikable and unfortunate characteristics of the women are very r I'm super busy with projects and not a fast reader, so it may take a few weeks for me to get through a book. This was definitely not the case with The Lockhart Women! I read this novel in a few days and got behind on my to-do list. It's that good! I found it incredibly compelling and perfectly paced. Even though the characters were difficult to like at times, I was engaged with them and hoping things would turn around. Some of the unlikable and unfortunate characteristics of the women are very realistic for a certain population of people in Orange County, California, where the novel takes place. Since I live in Orange County, I could definitely recognize the personalities we see in Brenda and her two daughters, Peggy and Allison. It was wonderful to know many of the places named. I also live near the location where some of the characters, including Peggy Lockhart, work. Even if I did not have these personal connections to the setting, it would still be a "can't put down" novel that gives readers familiar with Southern California and Orange County an added bonus. Great work!!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Gereau

    Set in 1994 against the backdrop of the OJ Simson drama in Southern California, Brenda Lockhart, a soon to be divorced woman who desperately wants her husband back, along with her teenage daughters, get caught up in the excesses of Southern California. There is humor around every corner, as the girls take up with unsavory partners and dangerous habits, that seem to the casual observer, like a desperate cry for help. Eventually, the three women learn the importance of supporting each other along Set in 1994 against the backdrop of the OJ Simson drama in Southern California, Brenda Lockhart, a soon to be divorced woman who desperately wants her husband back, along with her teenage daughters, get caught up in the excesses of Southern California. There is humor around every corner, as the girls take up with unsavory partners and dangerous habits, that seem to the casual observer, like a desperate cry for help. Eventually, the three women learn the importance of supporting each other along the way to finding a life filled with promise. I highly recommend this book.

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