YA Spotlight: Happy Endings are All Alike by Sandra Scoppettone
Today’s young adult spotlight is the book Happy Endings are All Alike by Sandra Scoppettone. The book was published in 1978 by Dell Publishing (as a Laurel-Leaf Book). It’s about two young women who are in love and the small-town troubles they face as a result of that love.
The back cover contains the following synopsis:
Jaret Tyler has no guilt or shame about her love affair with Peggy Danziger. But she knows there are plenty of people in this world who would put it down, especially in a small town like Gardener’s Point.
She and Peggy don’t broadcast their love for each other, but some people, including Jaret’s mother and Peggy’s sister, inevitably find out. While this knowledge makes things uncomfortable at times, Jaret and Peggy learn to live with it.
But then a disturbed friend of Jaret’s younger brother, who thinks Jaret is too stuck-up to go out with him, sets out to teach her a lesson. ‘Somebody ought to knock her around and put her in her place,’ he thinks. And when he sees Jaret and Peggy in the woods together, he decides he now knows a ‘secret’ he can use for his own violent purposes.
There are definitely some heavy themes in this book (specifically, a rape of one of the main characters), but it’s pretty amazing that a book about “out and proud” young lesbian women was published in 1978, targeted specifically at a young adult audience. Even though it didn’t receive much critical acclaim at the time, it is now noted as an important early book in queer young adult literature.
Sandra Scoppettone came out as a lesbian in the 1970’s and wrote one of the very first queer-themed books for young adults, Trying Hard to Hear You. She has written a total of 19 novels (including 5 young adult novels), many of them mysteries–sometimes under the pen name “Jack Early.”
To get your very own copy of Happy Endings are All Alike, visit the Somewhere Books online store.