Heather Abel, "The Optimistic Decade"

You say you want a revolution? This energetic and entertaining novel about a utopian summer camp and its charismatic leader asks smart questions about good intentions gone terribly wrong.

The Optimistic Decade Cover ImageFramed by the oil shale bust and the real estate boom, by protests against Reagan and against the Gulf War, The Optimistic Decade takes us into the lives of five unforgettable characters and is a sweeping novel about idealism, love, class, and a piece of land that changes everyone who lives on it.

There is Caleb Silver, the beloved founder of the back-to-the-land camp Llamalo, who is determined to teach others to live simply. There are the ranchers, Don, and son Donnie, who gave up their land to Caleb, having run out of options after Exxon came and went and left them bankrupt. There is Rebecca Silver, determined to become an activist like her father and undone by the spell of Llamalo and new love; and there is David, a teenager who has turned Llamalo into his personal religion. But situated on a plateau in the heart of the Rockies, Llamalo proves that it might outlast anyone’s heady plans for it, from the earliest Native American settlers to the latest lovers of the land.

Like Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, Heather Abel’s novel is a brilliant exploration of the bloom and fade of idealism and how it forever changes one’s life. Or so we think.

Heather Abel was raised in Santa Monica, California. She attended Swarthmore College and subsequently worked as a reporter and editor for political newspapers. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesSlate, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in fiction from the New School, where she later taught creative nonfiction writing. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband and two daughters.

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If you're unable to attend the event and would like a signed copy of The Optimistic Decade, please purchase the "Signed" version below.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
R.J. Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
The Optimistic Decade Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616206307
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - May 1st, 2018