Paul and Juliana Praise

Paul and Juliana
Richard Hawley $19.95

“Paul & Juliana knocks me out. So many things about it seem so right, especially its tone, which never condescends to ‘Writing for the Young Adult Audience’ or ‘Writing for the Clinical Audience’ or ‘Writing for the Kid Audience.’ Its potential audience is huge, cutting across generations and ages within generations. Lawrence is to tally plausible, with his eccentricities, his courage, his passionate empathy, his real skill and art in dealing with the parents and the two kids. He cares deeply, yet is never stuck in his own adolescence-and-sentimentalizing-the-kids-vs.-the-awful-parents-groove that can be so unhelpful. I believe Lawrence. I also like and honor him. I’d like him around my kids if they were that age.

“Paul and Juliana are each totally believable to me, and quite different in the ways they deal with life, school, their parents, Lawrence, even each other. Their passionate fervor is totally believable, and totally shareable. The parents are totally believable to me, too, and it would have been so easy to make them conventional, gray-flannel brutes. Lawrence sees their humanity, and so do we. And, most of all, so does the author. The novel’s resolution is truly triumphant, going into something dream- and myth-like in a positive, not an evasive, way. Having them drowned and mourned as dead would have been unendurable. We leave them ‘somewhere,’ and no cynical stuff about being caught with the expired car license, or not taking a tooth brush with them, can mar that beautiful, concluding vision, which actually isn’t ‘concluding.’

“I hope there are a lot of Lawrences in our schools. I know there are Paul’s and Juliana’s, and they are terribly at risk in a number of ways, including not finding others to honor the depth of their feelings for each other, and even at risk for not discovering themselves that they have a capacity for such passion for one another.”
— DAVID MALLERY, DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS

“Richard Hawley is a gifted writer, with an eye for the unlikely detail, an ear for the unexpected phrase. He sees the world around him vividly, and does so especially in Paul& Juliana, an affecting novel about the difficulties of love and the complications wrought by social norms that oppress rather than liberate those caught in their rigidities. This seems very much Hawley’s own sort of book: adroit, learned, lapidary, and sharply etched.”
— JAY PARINI, NOVELIST (INCLUDING A CRITICALLY SUCCESSFUL BEST SELLER,
THE LAST STATION, ABOUT TOLSTOY); DIRECTOR, MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE CREATIVE WRITING PROGRAM; POET, CRITIC, AND FREQUENT REVIEWER FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“The novel Paul & Juliana is a radiant—and unnervingly clever— telling of the most powerful love story in the Western record. By choosing Lawrence as his narrator, himself a man out of his own time, Hawley injects an ethical dilemma of adult culpability into this story of adolescent love, which is arguably, and in this novel so obviously, the truest love we can know. Paul & Juliana is a powerful and elegant story, in both the reiteration of the myth and in its own right.”
— MIKE RUHLMAN, AUTHOR OF FIVE HIGHLY PRAISED WORKS OF LITERARY NONFICTION, INCLUDING BOYS THEMSELVES, SOUL OF A CHEF, WOODEN BOATS, AND WALKING ON WATER

“Paul and Juliana is a truly beautiful book, and I felt gripped by the tensions besetting the guidance counselor even as I was transported into the rhapsody of the love story. The book is a triumph in every way. It will, I hope, be widely read.”
— REV. F. WASHINGTON (TONY) JARVIS, HEAD OF BOSTON’S ROXBURY LATIN SCHOOL, THE COUNTRY’S TOP RANKED INDEPENDENT SCHOOL SCHOLASTICALLY, AND WINNER OF A 2002 CHRISTOPHER AWARD , ALONG WITH FRED (“MR.”) ROGERS, AND JUDY COLLINS FOR THE BOOK LOVE AND PRAYERS

“What is that lapidarian craftsman Richard Hawley up to this time?! He has given us a veritable matreshka doll of a fiction: a small volume that yields up, on closer examination, layers multifold. Beneath the surface of the quintessential Elizabethan love story reconfigured, Hawley has contrived a Jamesean novel of freighted cerebration, stated in flawless Victorian diction; he has equipped his characters with concerns and sensibilities worthy of the Belle Epoch, and he has transplanted Shakespeare’s precocious lovers from 16th-century Verona to a postmodern-day high school in Evanston, Ill. Careful re-readings (an exhortation cleverly planted within the text) will yield up a chronicle of surprises.”
–RON POWERS, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING JOURNALIST, AUTHOR, TV COMMENTATOR

“A beautiful story of fairytale quality! Paul and Juliana is a special book about special people and connectedness. Paul and Juliana are connected to each other, and both connect to their mutual guidance counselor and friend, Lawrence, who connects to them as the only one capable of seeing these two exceptional individuals as an even more remarkable Romeo and Juliet-like twosome. Adolescents will be drawn to and connect to this story because of its timelessness, intimacy, and honesty. Bravo to Richard Hawley for peeling away the layers of the adolescent experience to reveal a core of beauty, honesty, and idyllic love.”
— JANICE MOORE, DIRECTOR OF LIBRARIES, ROLAND PARK COUNTRY SCHOOL

“Paul & Juliana was a captivating book from start to finish. Selected schools reading it have a chance to offer their students a look at modern day versus Shakespearian times. I would love to hear what students have to say after reading the book. Do they, for example, feel the couple makes the right decision in the end?”
–TRACY FARNSWORTH, ROUNDTABLE REVIEWS

“Paul & Juliana is a touching, mystically romantic novel that recounts a timeless tale of forbidden teenage love. Guidance counselor Lawrence helps his young charges, Paul and Juliana, escape their parents’ confinement, and thereby live out their love for each other. An important story, Paul & Juliana portrays, for teenagers and adults alike, the magical feeling of a first love.”
— AMY KIYOTA, 16, SPARKS, MD

“I thoroughly enjoyed Paul & Juliana. Not only will it stimulate highly beneficial class discussion, but it will serve as a wonderful companion piece to Romeo and Juliet.”
— ARCH MONTGOMERY, HEAD, ASHEVILLE SCHOOL, AND AUTHOR OF HANK, JAKE, AND STEPHIE, THE GUNPOWDER TRILOGY

One Reply to “Paul and Juliana Praise”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.