Arriving in a rain-swept city after a solo bus journey, eighteen-year-old Talia’s world breaks wide open. Soon she is chasing chickens, telling bad jokes to a prospective boss, fielding a roommate’s insults about her décor, all the while homesick for a place that never existed. Funny, harsh, touching, and uniquely observant, Talia speaks to the reader as if to a best friend.
In a chance encounter Talia meets George, a young man whose passion for building sailboats sparks a conversation that leads to much more. When a sailing job takes George away to Mexico, Talia struggles with ghosts from her troubled past until a growing faith in herself brings her to take a bold decision, stepping into the unknown and into herself in a way she never has before.
Reminiscent of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye and Colette’s Claudine, Eighteen is an intimate coming-of-age exploration of love, friendship, sexuality, and self-discovery.
To be published by Black Rose Writing January 13, 2022
From the start [Eighteen] is evocative and compelling… [Talia] is straightforward, savvy, and cognizant of the impact of the past on her search for a future…Talia's dreams and memories [woven] into the process of making important decisions about the rest of her life are convincing and gripping.
--Midwest Book Review
Eighteen is a magnificent tribute to the emotional complexity of young adulthood. In this beautifully written novel, Jaeckel brilliantly captures the inner life of a young woman. Talia is the character I didn’t even realize I'd been craving. She is refreshingly original and achingly human. I freaking loved this book!
--Lisa Maas, Author of Forward
Reading Eighteen was immersive and gripping, as if I were reading a thriller, only the thrill was knowing someone's mind like this, knowing their body almost as if from the inside. The thrill was being eighteen again, differently. This book is sensitive, sensual, funny, insightful, danceful, soulfull. I gobbled it up.
--Anne Flemming, Author of Anomaly
Talia’s authentic voice and emotional journey makes this coming-of-age tale both heartbreaking and uplifting. Thoroughly engrossing, Eighteen is the kind of story you could easily find yourself reading all in one sitting.
--Karen E. Osborne, Author of Getting It Right
The narration of Eighteen's protagonist, Talia, radiates with depth, wry wit, and a buoyant, effortless flow. The story delightfully captured my own innocent youth as if I'd written it myself. I loved it from the first sentence.
--Sasha Lauren, Author of The Paris Predicament