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The past and present combine in Farewell to South Shore

Culture

The past and present combine in Farewell to South Shore

Old World Values and Modernity Collide in Coming-of-Age Saga, Farewell to South Shore…

Savvy audiences will spot themes reminiscent of the musical In The Heights and the popular Prime Video series The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel in Charlene Wexler’s latest book, Farewell to South Shore. Wexler, a native Chicagoan, has created a relatable female protagonist determined to take charge of her own life in a world vastly different from the traditional South Shore of her youth.

“Farewell to South Shore taps into and articulates a woman’s emotions related to dealing with a changing society, particularly its expectations of women,” Wexler explained.

In Farewell to South Shore, Wexler introduces readers to 15-year-old Sherrie, who is growing up in a close-knit Jewish family in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The building in which Sherrie lives is occupied by family with Old World values, in Chicago’s South Shore community. Her relatives are loud, argumentative and quirky, but they are also loving and solve problems with that love — and great food.

As the 1960s progress, Sherrie and her family increasingly encounter modern day problems and situations, including the changing neighbourhood, homosexuality, unplanned pregnancy and abortion, family secrets, domestic abuse, divorce, single motherhood, women’s rights and romance in middle age.

Sherrie becomes the first girl in the family to go to college, and then to law school. She meets the man of her dreams, marries him, and leaves her career as an attorney behind. But her husband turns out to have old-fashioned patriarchal ideas of his own.

Eventually they divorce, leaving her a single mother of two. Informed by all of her life experiences, Sherrie feels compelled to re-establish her legal career as an attorney fighting for Roe v. Wade and equal rights, and helping abused women. As the 2000s dawn, Sherrie pivots toward female financial empowerment, as she embarks on a new, modern romance.

A story of tragedies and triumphs to which every reader can relate, Farewell to South Shore not only refers to departure from a place, but also serves as a metaphor for leaving a time and culture that will never exist again.

“The book inspires perseverance and determination to help take charge of one’s own life in a rapidly changing world,” Wexler added. “A world vastly different from the idyllic South Shore of the main character’s youth.”

A native Chicagoan, Charlene Wexler has been a teacher, wife, dental office manager, mother and grandmother. In retirement, her lifelong passion for writing has led her to create several essays and novels.

Her other books include Murder on Skid Row, Milk and Oranges, Murder Across the Ocean, Lori and Elephants In The Room. Her work has also appeared in Black Tie MagazineNPR Europe Travel Guidebooks Worth ReadingReader’s DigestNorth Shore Magazine, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry’s Vision magazine, Alpha Omegan magazine, the Gazette Chicago and several blogs. She lives in Illinois with her dentist husband. Her three adorable grandchildren live out of state but visit often.

Farewell to South Shore | Publisher: Speaking Volumes | On sale now at Amazon | ISBN-13: ‎979-8890220721

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