A review of Headlong by Patricia Ackerman notes that “[b]y contrasting conservative and liberal family expectations, this author skilfully navigates her characters through a process of self-discovery.”
Social class does indeed play a role in Headlong, but I hadn’t considered the red-vs.-blue politics flat-out that way. This is an interesting slant. Are the expectations of, say, Hazel Tobias’ brother necessarily liberal? becaue he’s gay, or because he’s a professional photographer (read: arty type)? Or contrariwise, are they conservative, because he wants Hazel to stay in school and get a first-rate education and quit fooling around?