Some love affairs start early. So it was with Grace Dunlop and Harper Alessi, who met as pre-teens. Although the two girls came from wealthy families, the similarities in their lifestyles only touched every now and then. Harper was the daughter of artists with a Bohemian lifestyle. Grace’s family was very traditional. Yet the two young women gave one another the gift of limitless freedom and boundless love as they grew to adulthood.
The problem is, all that freedom and innocent love eventually evolved into passionate feelings that neither could name and both refused to acknowledge. “Just special friends, that’s all.” That’s what they knew they were. As they mature, a local hangout with a jukebox and its expressive music, becomes the pivot point in the manifestation of their lives together.
By high school and college, Grace and Harper are wrestling with feelings for one another, feelings of jealousy for the boyfriends in each other’s lives, and a longing that neither can express for fear of breaking the spell that holds them together. A trip to Europe solidifies their feelings, but when they return home, it all starts to fall apart. And that’s only the beginning of the story.
Dagget gives us a poignant tale. As it unfolds we wonder if these two young women will ever be able to be who they are to one another and to the world. It’s a gripping tale, filled with alluring sadness, and the musical background emphasizes the crescendo of the characters’ emotions. Jukebox is a bitter-sweet tale that will engage the reader throughout, and offers up some surprises at the end. Every Harper is meant for a Grace—and the reader may find herself and her own longings reflected in this story.
– Reviewed by Anna Furtado (JustAboutWrite.com)