Item description for 1106 Grand Boulevard by Betty Dravis...
Will Billie Jean find true love and happiness?
All her life, Billie Jean Sloane, a charismatic, exquisite, small-town beauty, has been desired and spoiled by men. At sixteen, following a tragedy involving her first husband--"the love of her life"--she is heartbroken. Unable to forgive or forget, her parents take drastic measures to keep them apart.
The vain, yet innocent, Billie Jean--one of seven siblings--is swept from her humble beginnings at 1106 Grand Boulevard in the Midwestern town of Hamilton, Ohio to a luxurious life-style in Phoenix, Arizona and other fascinating locales... through a World War II marriage and a Mafia scare in Sacramento, California... to vicious seduction at Lake Tahoe... to the fabulous wealth of the "San Francisco Sinclairs," real estate and jewelry tycoons. Then back to her hometown to search for her first husband.
This story takes you through Billie Jean's seven marriages and sixty-four years--1933 to 1997--of happiness and tragedy. Always searching for her first love and her childhood, the enchanting child/woman captivates many men along the way, each wealthier than the one before ... each sending her scurrying back to 1106 Grand Boulevard, a trail of broken hearts in her wake.
1106 Grand Boulevard is the story of passions that last a lifetime; of family love and betrayal; of spousal abuse and sadistic child abuse; a story of Billie Jean's desperate search for happiness, self-worth, and maturity ... a story of people needing people and people using people.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2006
Publisher Just My Best
ISBN 1932586393 ISBN13 9781932586398
Availability 0 units.
More About Betty Dravis
Dravis has written columns, profiles, and feature articles for many California newspapers, including the San Jose Sun, and Milpitas Post. She was editor of the Gilroy News Hearld where she also hosted a weekly talk show on Cable TV. She is also founder/publisher of Construction Labor News, a San Jose based newspaper currently owned by her daughter.
Betty Dravis currently resides in Capitola, in the state of California.
Reviews - What do customers think about 1106 Grand Boulevard?
A heart wrenching and heartwarming masterpiece May 12, 2008
This gem of a book is not just another romantic story based on a real character. In fact I think it is the most powerful and touching novel that I have ever read.
Billy Jean, a very beautiful and vivacious but slightly vain and naive young girl is shot by her husband Cal, in a fit of jealous anger. Cal is madly in love with Billy Jean but he carries deep emotional scars from his childhood that makes it difficult for him to control his anger. Billy Jean is deeply in love with Cal despite his abuse and his violent temper. Billy Jean's parents send her away to live with her aunt Tommie in an attempt to protect their daughter. Thus begins the drama filled adventures of Billy Jean.
Billy Jean's life will be filled with tragedy and yearning for a lost love, but also many moments of happiness. Billy Jean is widowed twice, divorced four times, almost dies in childbirth, is taken for a ride by the mafia, and that is just a very small sample of what she will experience. There are many heart wrenching moments in this novel, but also many heart warming moments.
The story is action packed and full of unexpected twists and turns, and still it is mostly about love, family, and 1106 Grand Boulevard, the home that Billy Jean departed from, but that never left her. 1106 Grand Boulevard was the place she would return to for healing and eventually wholeness.
The author uses descriptive phrases and words with such skill and precision that the story comes alive and grabs the reader. The tumultuous and gripping adventures of Billy Jean are described with such wisdom, and deep insight that it is clear that what is described must have been both self experienced and deeply contemplated.
I will always remember the time and the place where I was when I read Chapter 41. Chapter 41 is where everything in Billy Jean's life will come together with such beauty and power that it transcends our imagination and our dreams. If you can read Chapter 41 without being deeply touched then you can also swim without water and sail without wind.
This is a beautiful book that will leave you with something that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. The story of Billy Jean is not just a great story, but an ode to the beauty of life. How lucky we are that it is Betty Dravis who is telling us this story, because no one else could do it like her. I am expecting a Hollywood production based on this book sometime in the future.
Billie Jean's Quest May 8, 2008
Billie Jean Sloane was created for life's dramatic moments. Nothing she does is "beige"...she is washed in vivid colors from Day One.
She brings to mind another such colorful character...Scarlett O'Hara! Except that Billie Jean actually does have her "happy ending". It's a long time coming, and she has to go through several "rehearsals" first, but in the end, she not only finds her first love again, but she has a long overdue talk with her mother in which she sorts out some of the emotional baggage between them. She begins to understand her drive for acceptance and love.
So not only does Billie Jean's quest for love find fruition, but she has an epiphany. She finally understands herself.
I could not put this book down, taking it everywhere until I reached the last page. And then I wanted a sequel!
Good read, Betty Dravis!
Love that Lasts Forever Apr 19, 2008
This is the story of Billie Jean Sloane-- and Cal, and Don, and James, and Mark, and Elliot and Jackson. It is also the story of the author's sister's life and it is simply enthralling!
It spans several decades-- the novel begins with 16 year old Billie Jean marrying the love of her life, Cal. He has some baggage, though, that winds up ruining their marriage. She spends many more years giving love and marriage another shot (and several other shots) yet, for various reasons, those relationships do not work out, either. Her life, though, is always interesting and never stagnant. Even with all her faults and foibles, she's likable, charming, and intriguing-- and although the path she takes seemingly lacks direction, it actually (and surprisingly) finally does lead her to life long happiness.
Betty Dravis is a talented and prolific author who has been compared to Grandma Moses-- as both of them found their true niche later in life. She definitely knows how to tell a story. 1106 Grand Boulevard is full of colorful characters, rich dialogue, and fascinating locales. Most importantly, it's a fun and exciting story written by an excellent storyteller.
Worth its Weight in..... Apr 16, 2008
the backpack. Yes. I finished this novel by the shores of Mississippi Lake in the wilderness of Henry Coe State Park. I am not much of a fiction reader, but this book made a lasting impression on me.
Billie Jean Sloane-Taylor-McIvers-Hollings-Parsons-Reed-Sinclair-Taylor has led an interesting life: seven marriages with six husbands, a life alternately of poverty, wealth, and getting by reasonably well, with two children, several miscarriages, and a large diverse set of sibblings to boot. Never was the famous Chinese curse so appropriate: "May you live in interesting times." Yet, somehow she perserves and, by the novel's end, prevails in discovering and obtaining her life's desire.
Other readers have noted that this novel is a very clever adaptation of the romance novel to the life of the author's actual sister. I too was impressed with how maleable this genre is in the skilled hands of author Betty Dravis. But the theme which struck me throughout the book was that Billie Jean always returned home after each new crisis or change of circumstance in her life. This was not because her family was always supportive. Indeed, they sometimes unintentionally aggravated the travails Billie Jean suffered through, a portion of the novel that the author handles with loving care and no small amount of grace. But it was her home itself, and the memories it contained, that really gave Billie Jean solace. 1106 Grand Avenue was for her the small still part of the soul that mystics seek: a place she could retreat to for healing and (increasingly, as the novel progresses) wholeness.
We all need such places in our lives, even if we don't have 7 husbands and sisters who are too clever by half. I have found my place to be within the wildlands of California. It is a place I can retreat to where the concerns of life pass away and from which I return ready to again face the challenges life throws at me. After a period of intense stress, it is hard to improve upon a remote and beautiful location like Mississippi Lake. Except perhaps by taking a good book with you.
Endless Love Apr 8, 2008
The first inkling you get about author Betty Dravis is found in this passage, "a portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to The Seth Craig Stem Cell Research Foundation."
The dedications in the book also reveal the love and devotion of this writer towards her family.
The subject of the book is Billie Jean, although Betty herself also faces an enormous challenge. She is a married mother of five children, with yet another on the way. She disapproves divorce but her spirit of courage and emotional strength allow her separation from a man who has not been coming home on time nor providing for the family.
The authors insight, thoughts and observations of Billie Jean are extremely intriguing.
Both sisters share a physical resemblance, both being beautiful, though their minds and ideas are radically conflicting. I wouldn't want to get between them because as opposing as their personalities are you feel the love they have for each other in the writing.
I could relate to Billie Jean's quest for love. She's lost and hurt, temporarily relieved and entertained by toys of the rich.
Billie Jeans search for love is almost never ending.
Almost. Though she marries and remarries, she is bound eternally to memories of long lost love. Billie Jean concludes her search in a beautifully emotional ending in the arms of her soul mate. This fate was meant to be.