Bring on the Giggle Juice

I’m Bonnelyn Parker! I’ve taken Jenni’s fun character test a few times now, and I can’t help it, each time I come up most similar to Bonnelyn. We’re both determined, grit-filled ladies (Is it okay I say so myself?), though maybe we’re both naïve at times too. We’re both flawed, to be sure.

I’ve mentioned this quote a few times when talking about Becoming Bonnie, but I love it so much: “We’re born whole, then life takes a little more from ya each day, each experience, each loss. It ain’t something you can get back.” Wow, do I relate to that insight. Like Jenni said in a Facebook post this morning, Bonnelyn was promised the American Dream but given the Great Depression.

That’s my favorite part of Becoming Bonnie, the part that I’m absolutely the most impressed with, how she has gotten into this person’s head. I had no idea Bonnelyn Parker was the sweet, well-intentioned, intelligent person that she was before she met Clyde. I never could have imagined her trajectory from that young girl to becoming half of the infamous Bonnie & Clyde duo, but that’s exactly what Jenni did. She mapped out the choices Bonnelyn made with such insight into what she might have been feeling, at each turn you are rooting for her even though you know she’s inching closer and closer to her ultimate demise.

The other thing I loved about Becoming Bonnie was getting a feel for 1920’s Texas, prohibition and “giggle juice” and all. I said this for Crystal’s novel, Feast of Sorrow, too, but I’m just not the sort of person who is good imagining what the past must have been like, so I am doubly impressed with Jenni (and Crystal) who are so amazingly talented at getting into these different eras. Props to their research and their creativity. It’s incredible.

Last night Becoming Bonnie arrived at my doorstep!! (Sidenote: The Amazon app now sends you a little ping when a package arrives, even if the FedEx guy doesn’t ring your bell. What a world we live in that our phones know before we do what is waiting at our door.) The cover is even more beautiful than I had imagined based off of the galley pictures. It’s shiny! I immediately took the book upstairs and lined her up with the others from the Debutante Ball. That’s it! We are all out!

Last night I also cracked open a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc – the modern version of Giggle Juice, naturally – and toasted to you, Jenni! Readers are going to love Becoming Bonnie as much as we did, and I’m excited to watch where this series of books takes you. Celebrate with all the giggle juice and more, Jenni!!

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Lynn Hall is a memoirist, activist in the movement to end sexual violence, ultra-runner, and crazy cat lady. Her memoir, CAGED EYES: AN AIR FORCE CADET’S STORY OF RAPE AND RESILIENCE, was published by Beacon Press in February 2017. Her writing has previously appeared in the New York Times, The LA Times, Hippocampus Magazine, The Sexual Assault Report, The Manifest-Station, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and elsewhere. In the summers, Lynn copes with publication anxiety by spending too many days in the Colorado mountains, and in the winters, with pans of brownies. She lives in Boulder with her partner and their 23 cats. Just kidding…she only has five.

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