Winner, First Novel over 90K in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards
Finalist, Women's Fiction, American Book Awards
The Lockhart Women is a mother/daughter/sister story about a divorce in the 1990’s. Set in Huntington Beach, California, the novel starts on the night of the O. J. Simpson chase through Southern California. It concerns choices, regrets and bad decisions, with the Simpson trial as background noise.
“Mary Camarillo's prose is lively, companionable, and quite satisfyingly observant in ways that surprise and delight. It's as if a friendly someone you know quite well is murmuring in your ear, and that voice is giving you living presences. I will not soon forget Brenda Lockhart and her daughters. And how well the novelist has used history as backdrop here, in the art form that in fact succeeds best when history is the canvas across which the drama takes place. Bravo, Ms. Camarillo.”
Richard Bausch, award-winning author of twelve novels including Peace and Hello to the Cannibals and nine story collections.
“The Lockhart Women is deeply and thoroughly Southern Californian, in all the perfectly detailed cities and streets and, of course, freeways, but also in the evocation of its time - the 1990s. These women are vivid portraits - flawed and desperate and seeking redemption -- in this page-turner."
Susan Straight, award-winning author of the memoir “In the Country of Women,” eight novels and two children’s books
“Mary Camarillo’s debut novel, The Lockhart Women, is an intimate portrayal of a Southern California working class family that splinters apart when the father leaves. Brenda Lockhart and her two daughters are complicated and not always admirable characters, but they are relentlessly human. Camarillo laces their story with concise prose, dry humor, and flinty realism, allowing love, resilience, hope and eventual forgiveness to shine through.”
Samantha Dunn, bestselling author of Not By Accident: Reconstructing a Careless Life,
Faith in Carlos Gomez, A Memoir of Salsa, Sex and Salvation, and Failing Paris
“OJ’s famous white Bronco flight and his trial for murder is the perfect backdrop for this story of a mother and her two daughters watching their lives implode. Great writing, compelling, and fast-paced, The Lockhart Women is impossible to put down.”
Diana Wagman, award winning author of six novels--Extraordinary October, The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets, Life #6, Spontaneous, Skin Deep, and Bump.
“The Lockhart Women -- Brenda and her teenage daughters Peggy and Allison -- make mistake after mistake in this delightful debut novel, but that's part of their charm. Set against the backdrop of the OJ Simpson trial, we're witness to a family unraveling. Touching on themes of motherhood, fidelity, and responsibility, this is a coming-of-age tale for both Brenda and her daughters, teaching us that the indelible bonds of love can steer families through the roughest of passages.”
Julie Zuckerman, author of The Book of Jeremiah
“Like Mona Simpson’s Anywhere but Here, The Lockhart Women sensitively illustrates what happens to children coming of age under the influence of childish parents. But unlike Simpson, Camarillo provides hope that everyone—parents and children—can grow and develop. An authentically hopeful and realistic novel.”
Shelley Blanton-Stroud, Author of Copy Boy
“Our culture is undeniably affected, and often transformed, by famous people who perform famous deeds – good or bad – but mostly bad (as in murder). In “The Lockhart Women,” Mary Camarillo uses O.J. Simpson’s 1994 suicidal white-Bronco ride, north on a Southern California freeway, as the jumping off point to a riveting first novel. The protagonist is Brenda Lockhart, a thin and tanned Orange County blonde with a strong resemblance to Simpson’s murdered wife, Nicole. Like the rest of the country, Brenda can’t tear herself away from the twenty-four hours a day coverage of the arrest and trial. It’s easier than dealing with her two, criminally rebellious teenage daughters, and the husband who’s abandoned her for an older, less attractive woman. With control, compassion, and surprising humor, Camarillo dissects how a modern family comes apart, the chaos we create in relationships and, short of murder, what we might do about it. Unputdownable.”
Eduardo Santiago, PEN Emerging Voices Rosenthal fellow and award-winning author of Tomorrow They Will Kiss and Midnight Rhumba.