When fifteen-year-old Julia Epstein and her Anglophone family flee Montreal in October 1970, she struggles to adjust to a new life in the suburban wasteland of North York, Toronto. Next door lives Carla Cabrielli, who works her "assets" and knows how to get what she wants. Julia and Carla get on a collision course, not only for the same role in the school production of Hamlet, but also for the leading man - sword-wielding bad boy and sex magnet, Ian Slater. Heartache and Other Natural Shocks explores teen rivalry. When events take a dangerous turn, both Julia and Carla become vulnerable to deception and betrayal. Full of unexpected twist and turns, Glenda Leznoff's unique novel marks the debut of an important new voice in young-adult fiction.
Glenda Leznoff is a writer, college professor and artist. She launched her career as a playwright; wrote for film, television and animation; became involved with magazine and non-fiction projects; and continues to write fiction and children's literature. She is currently an instructor in the Creative Writing Department at Douglas College. As a visual artist, her paintings have been shown in galleries and collections across North America. Glenda lives in Vancouver, where she gardens, dances and cooks sumptuous meals for friends and family.
“She said, she said, with a dose of Shakespearean intrigue .... a refreshing break from contemporary teen fiction.” - Kirkus Reviews
“Told from Jules’s and Carla’s alternating viewpoints, this insightful, compassionate, and darkly humorous novel explores the agonies and ecstasies of being a teen in 1970s Canada .... Well-developed characters experiencing parental problems, jealousy, betrayal, lust, and friendship will captivate older teens.” - School Library Journal
“Glenda Leznoff sets her sexy, honest story about a love triangle between three teens against the backdrop of the early 1970s and the FLQ crisis .... Much drama ensues, but Leznoff does a great job keeping the action and dialogue realistic, both for the characters’ ages and the time period.” - Quill & Quire
“Historical fiction fans in particular will enjoy the story’s backdrop, where clippings files in the public library, record albums, and references to Canadian politics firmly set it in the 1970s. Well-developed characters, with Jules’ friend Geoff stealing the show, and the ending elevate this novel from the ordinary.” - Booklist
. Leznoff gets teen girls – their conversations, their insecurities and their deep yearning for self-worth.” - Globe and Mail