In "Look Away No More," a novel of manners and war, passion and first love, decorum and protests, Tally McCall, a sorority girl and history scholar in Georgia is searching for purpose in a world ablaze.
It's May 1970. Colleges are on the cusp of anarchy while Tally's coastal campus is on the cusp of summer fun.
The only daughter of a prominent Southern family, Tally wants to be nominated for an award to earn a graduate degree at Oxford University. Her competitor is her friend, a brilliant young Black man who would make an outstanding, pioneering and revolutionary choice. Yet wouldn't a "girl" also be a revolutionary choice at a time when Rhodes Scholars are not allowed to be female?
Tally's brother is serving in Vietnam. Her sweetheart is a Yankee. Her mother owns a bridal boutique. Her daddy is a judge. Yet Tally has no desire to marry and worries about the legal consequences of helping a friend escape the draft.
On May 4th, 1970, the killings at Kent State University in Ohio shock Tally and spark her passion for justice. The night of the tragedy Tally is named the Military Gala Queen at nearby Fort Hamper. She must decide how to be true to herself and honor the victims of Kent State, who were her peers, while accepting her new title from a surprise guest in a ballroom full of soldiers.
Tally must also discover ways to navigate through landmines of country club society, stay true to her ideals, and seize the power of her privileged status to challenge the status quo.
If Dickens had written "A Tale of Two Campuses" and Chaucer had written "The Ingenue's Tale," the combination might celebrate a witty, romantic, brilliant girl during a time of unrest who is determined to prove her abiding creed that "A knowledge of history is the key to survival."