Our Song: A Memoir of Love and Race

by Lynda Smith Hoggan

Rural Pennsylvania, 1972—a time of civil rights, the Vietnam War, and defiant counterculture youth challenging their traditional parents.

Lynda is a free-spirited white student of poetry, peyote, and peaceful protest. JT is a gifted black athlete recruited from the inner city. Their schools are hours apart, but that doesn’t stop their intense chemistry from igniting a sensuous romance. Without email, cell phones, or video chat apps, the young lovers fill the void between occasional weekends together in the only way they can: with long letters, often laced with lyrics from the songs that shaped the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. But both are caught in multiple struggles: racist parents, the interference of a jealous friend, and the grip of a prior boyfriend. Ultimately, the delicate fabric that binds them unravels.

Now, four decades later, Lynda and JT may have another chance. Can they take it?

This sensual memoir by human sexuality professor Lynda Smith Hoggan lays bare the raw contradictions between social expectations and the heart’s desires—and leaves readers pondering what love might look like in a world where we are truly free.

“Gorgeous. Sexy. Heartbreaking. Impossible to put down. Our Song is a lyrical portrait of an era—the 1960s and 1970s—when it seemed that peace, love, and music would change the world. It is also the portrait of two college-aged lovers, a white woman and a black man. Hoggan writes with aching honesty about the enduring toxins of racism, poverty, and family dysfunction, and of her own mistakes. Our Song is a real and tragic love story that echoes long after the words fade.”
SUSAN J. TWEIT, Sarton Award-winning author of Bless the Birds, Living with Love in a Time of Dying

“Love isn’t always enough. Lynda Smith Hoggan has captured a poignant snapshot of a long-ago time. If you were there, this tender, sometimes funny, often heartbreaking memoir will take you back. If you were not, it will show you what you missed.”
BONNIE HEARN HILL, author of The River Below and host at KMPH’s Great Day Book Club

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