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1997

Flashback Friday: Class of 1997

1997

Flashback to The Year: 1997

What Was Going On 25 Years Ago?

Sweet Savage Flame looks back to 1997, a quarter of a century ago. What books were popular? What events and issues were prevalent?

As the year started with me recovering from near-death complications due to lupus, it could only get better.

1997 was the first year of the 2nd Bill Clinton term as POTUS in the USA. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa died days apart in August. Dolly the sheep was the first successfully cloned animal.

My beloved NY Yankees lost their chance of back-to-back championships when they lost the World Series to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Film and Television

Titanic was the biggest hit at the theaters come the end of the year. It made history as the first film to hit $1 billion at the box office.

The top TV shows were Friends and Seinfeld on NBC’s unbeatable Thursday night lineup. The cartoon The Simpsons was in its golden age, with Ally McBeal as a promising new hit on FOX. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the hottest new thing on the WB channel.

I remember being addicted to Aaron Spelling’s daytime soap opera, Sunset Beach.

The Ladies of Sunset Beach
The Ladies of Sunset Beach

Fashion

What were the clothes like in 1997? I wore camisole tops, flare leg jeans, and Candies wooden clogs.

In the summer, females had the option of a variety of 2-piece swimsuits, including the recently-back-in-style cheeky-short bottom as opposed to the bikini.

The Aniston haircut was still popular for many women. Me, I had my hair dyed black and cut into a flippy, layered chin-length bob. (Not the Karen! It had no bump nor required teasing).

Makeup was black liquid eyeliner and white eyeshadow, plus Revlon’s Toast of New York lipstick. White and light pastels or dark-red Opi polish for the nails depending on the season.

The USA By the Numbers:

  • Yearly Inflation Rate –  2.34 %
  • Year-End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average – 7,908
  • Interest Rates Year End Federal Reserve – 8.5%
  • Average Cost of a new house – $124,100
  • Average Income per year – $37,006
  • Average Monthly Rent – $576
  • Cost of a gallon of Gas – $1.22
  • The average cost of a new car is $16,900
  • Loaf of Bread – $1.17
  • Movie Ticket – $4.59
books of 1997
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Books of 1997

Now let’s talk about books. In 1997, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in the United Kingdom.

Other notable books released that year include:

  • Imajica by Clive Barker
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons
  • The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • Time Quake by Kurt Vonnegut

You can check out romance books from 1997 we’ve reviewed on our blog so far.

Romance would see fewer clinches, more stepbacks, and more plain covers. This was especially true for especially for Kensington Books as they branched out into new and more erotic imprints. Trade-size books were surging in sales.

The hot trend of paranormal romances was immensely popular with readers.

Nora Roberts was on fire in 1997 with her book, The MacGregor Brides, and her In Death series as J.D. Robb.

Tami Hoag, Elizabeth Lowell, and Iris Johansen were romance authors hitting the bestseller charts with mystery novels or romantic suspense.

vengenace in death

Contemporary Romances:

  • Trust Me on This by Jennifer Crusie
  • Deep Waters Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Ladies’ Man by Suzanne Brockmann
  • Jackson Rule by Dinah McCall
  • Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Historical Romances:

  • This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
  • Affair by Amanda Quick
  • Captain Jack’s Woman by Stephanie Laurens
  • All I Need Is You by Johanna Lindsey
  • Shiek by Connie Mason
  • Key to Forever by Christina Skye
  • Season of Wishes by Christina Skye
  • Silent Melody by Mary Balogh

Paranormal Romances:

  • Twice a Hero by Susan Krinard
  • Touch of Enchantment by Teresa Medeiros
  • Son of the Morning by Linda Howard

Native American Romances

Cassie Edwards was still hugely popular with her Native American historical romances.

Cait London was blazing a trail with her Tallchief series for the Silhouette Desire category line.

cait london

Romantic Times Readers’ Choice Winners

  • Finding Laura by Kay Hooper
  • A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith
  • The Promise of Jenny Jones by Maggie Osborne
  • Seeing a Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters
  • Serpent’s Tooth by Faye Kellerman
  • Son of the Morning by Linda Howard
  • Splendor by Brenda Joyce
  • Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb

RWA Winners

  • Best First Book
    • Stardust Of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland, Berkley
  • Best Traditional Romance
    • Her Very Own Husband by Lauryn Chandler, Silhouette Romance
  • Best Short Contemporary Series
    • Cowboy Pride by Anne McAllister, Silhouette Desire
  • Best Long Contemporary Series
    • Wild Blood by Naomi Horton, Silhouette Intimate Moments
  • Best Paranormal Romance
    • Stardust Of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland, Berkley
  • Best Inspirational Romance
    • The Scarlet Thread by Francine Rivers, Tyndale House
  • Best Regency Romance
    • The Lady’s Companion by Carla Kelly, Penguin
  • Best Short Historical Romance
    • Always To Remember by Lorraine Heath, Berkley/Jove
  • Best Long Historical Romance
    • Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Guhrke, Harper
  • Best Romantic Suspense
    • See How They Run by Bethany Campbell, Bantam
  • Best Contemporary Single Title
    • Daniel’s Gift by Barbara Freethy, Avon

1997 – The Last Year I Was Young, LOL

I was a pregnant college student living with my boyfriend in our apartment in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. In October I turned 20 while attending my first (and last) sophomore semester at NYU.

1997 was one of the most memorable years of my life. My daughter was born almost 6 weeks premature on Christmas Day. My miracle baby.

She had to stay in the NICU for almost a month and was on a ventilator for two weeks. Then she was connected to an oxygen tank for another 4 months.

The last song I recall hearing in 1997 was was “How Do I Live” as sung by LeAnn Rimes. It made me cry thinking of my daughter in the NICU.

To celebrate the arrival of 1998, we watched a Thanksgiving episode of a new show called South Park on Comedy Central.

jacqueline baby
Jacqueline Diaz, November 1997

My boyfriend and I eventually made it “legal.” We’ve been married for 24 years. Our beautiful daughter is now at law school, thank Heaven!

My Books from 1997

I don’t remember much of my hobby reading as that year was so busy with school work. Although, there were a few memorable books I enjoyed in 1997:

Your Opinion

What are your memories of 1997? Was it a memorable year or one that went by too fast? Were you even alive in 1997? Let us know!

Please drop a comment, and let’s talk romance!

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