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Shoulder Season - a coming-of-age story set in the 1980s at a Wisconsin Playboy resort.

It’s 1981. Sherri Taylor is 19 years old and was born and raised in the small town of East Troy, Wisconsin. In nearby Lake Geneva, the Playboy Resort and Country Club has become a regional destination. It also becomes a possible escape for Sherri, who has lost both of her parents and seeks a change. When her best friend suggests they try out to become Playboy bunnies, Sherri is shocked when she gets the job. She soon enters a world that at first is extremely exciting. She’s on her own, makes new friends and is earning good money. But Sherri is also exposed to its dark side which has serious consequences.

From the earliest pages of Shoulder Season, which takes place in the present, we know that Sherri, now approaching her 60s, has endured. This engaging book is Sherri’s journey from a young, innocent, naïve girl from the Midwest to an older and wiser survivor.

I enjoyed Christina Clancy’s first book, Second Home, so this book was one I was looking forward to reading. While very different, I, once again, enjoyed the author’s writing style, which is crisp and fast-moving. This book clearly required a lot of research to capture the lives of the women who chose to become Playboy bunnies. Shoulder Season also does a good job in providing an early 1980s vibe complete with a cameo by Gregg Allman.

Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this oftentimes heartbreaking coming-of-age book in advance of its publication.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Contemporary Historical Fiction.

Publication Date: July 6, 2021.

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