Reviews of A Penny A Kiss

Reviews of A Penny A Kiss

Judy McConnell's lyrical writing style and vivid characters drew me into this compelling novel. The author captures a transforming period of cultural upheaval—the late 1960s and early 1970s—when courageous women began to question their lives and had the strength to make changes in the world around them. The struggle of Radley, the main character, to endure and transform her marriage, is powerfully portrayed. I really enjoyed this rewarding story of growth and enlightenment.

--Mary Stewart Swansonon, Ph.D.

​Told with an impressive candor, "A Penny A Kiss is the personal life story of Judy McConnell and her struggle to create her own identity within the cultural context of gender and class traditions. An inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "A Penny A Kiss" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library American Biography collections.                                              --Midwest Book Review, February, 2015

Amazed at how the author kept the interst going--sort of like waves--I never lost interest. She beautifully defines the timidness of both men and women in their early 20s, something that is not talked about a lot. The discussions were interesting, not simply naive, the characters were fascinating. Apartment living with other young women was well done,, taking me back to all the issues of being a girl in NYC. The Southampton pages were wonderful. The author rang all the bells in her description of Dave. One loved him and were worried at the same time.

                                                      --Amazon Reader

In this engrossing memoir, Judy McConnell journeys back into her 1940 to 1950 childhood and teen years. With an almost astonishing memory for details, she invites the reader into the mind, heart, and spirit of young girlhood of the period, highlighting not only the awkwardness and innocence, but also an innate wisdom of independent, intelligent thought just beginning to be tapped. Reading McConnell's excellent debut memoir, I look forward to more of her powerful storytelling in the second volume to come.

                               --Nancy Raeburn, author of Mykonos: A Memoir

Reviews of Dreamhouse

I've read your book and really enjoyed it. You did a great job!  I was impressed with how honest you were about yourself and the things that happened to you. I liked...the introspective style of the book. 
Pat T.

Judy McConnell has crafted a gripping account of the trials and triumphs of growing up in an upwardly mobile family during the crucial period of change surrounding World War II. With unflinching honesty, she presents a bright but impulsive girl who clashes continually with family expectations. With vivid descriptions and psychological insight, McConnell has created a broad cast of distinctive characters, portrayal that enliven a sensitive and entertaining memoir.

       --Mary Stewart Swanson, Ph.D., wirter,editor, and educator

I couldn’t put down Dreamhouse!!  After watching it stare at me since purchase and telling myself I needed to finish other things (like library books and book club book coming due) I started it. I couldn't put it down! The chapter organization is great - you’ve mastered the gentle cliff hanger.  I wanted to hurry through for plot, but slow down to savor the story. It’s full of spot-on characterizations. We know from chapter one enough about Larry so that in other views of him we can say, yes, that’s Larry!  I heard myself talking back to Radley, especially in the dinner party scene - haven’t we all been her? I was holding my breath saying hurry up!  I could hear those timers going off. I SO wanted to give her the wisdom of my experience. I send congratulations and kudos!  
                                         --Jody Good, book club member

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. 

                                                      --Abby M.

Reviews of Just Keep  Shooting

What a delightful memoir abut a free-spirited adventuresome young woman who escapes a challenging home life in Minneapolis and explores New York, Paris, Madrid and other cities in an attempt to find her destiny and discover her talents. McConnell writes about her unusual experiences with skill and charm. Her lyrical talent seems to come naturally to her, her words appear to flow without effort. . . the action never flags. This charming story enabled me to enjoy a whole decade of adventure that I was unable to experience in reality---an absorbing experience.

                               --Mary Swanson, Ph.D., writer, editor, educator