by Jill Fordyce

Praise for Belonging

“Fordyce captures the complexities of both love and forgiveness as well as the painful ways the events of the past can’t help but color our present day lives. Belonging is a wise, uplifting, and deeply compassionate novel with characters so vivid they feel like part of your own family.”
–Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas

“Belonging is a moving and original story of a girl coming of age and learning who she is in a family wracked with tension, set against a California landscape from the seventies to the present, chronicling the history of that time and place as much as its indelible characters. Jill Fordyce is a sensitive and beautiful writer and a novelist to watch.”
–Malena Watrous, author of If You Follow Me

About the Book

Coming of age in the Central Valley of “the Other California,” Jenny Hayes experiences a childhood filled with loss and heartbreak. She returns years later to discover a family secret that has been buried for generations—one that alters the course of her life.

In the spring of 2017, almost thirty years after choosing to leave home, Jenny Hayes returns to be at the side of her beloved great uncle, Gino Vitale, in his final days. On their last afternoon together, Uncle Gino—the only remaining link between generations of her Italian immigrant family—gives Jenny a letter that reveals a powerful long-held secret, forcing her to revisit her painful childhood, her decision to leave her family, and the bounds of forgiveness.

Belonging is a story about the events that transform our lives—the innocence and heartache of first love; the confusion and sadness of a cherished friendship slipping away; the fierce desire to overcome generational trauma and make a family when your own family has failed; and the way we are all ultimately shaped by the places we come from. Set in the grittier California of immigrants, farm workers, and country music, the heart of the story is Jenny’s struggle to undo the childhood binds that have profoundly affected her life, the painful path to love endured by children raised in alcoholic families, and the grim reality of having to hide a part of yourself to belong.

About the Author

Jill Fordyce was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. She received a degree in English from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Santa Clara University. While practicing law, she continued to study writing through the Stanford Continuing Education creative writing program. Belonging is her debut novel. She and her husband, Craig, have five adult children, and live in California and Tennessee.


Post Hill Press