Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Published: March 1, 2015
Genre: young adult, historical fiction
Goodreads blurb : In 1970, as the hippie movement is losing its innocence, Shoshanna and her six-year-old sister, Mara, escape from Sweet Earth Farm, a declining commune, run by their tyrannical and abusive father, Adam. Their mother, Ella, takes them to San Francisco, where they meet one of her old friends, Judy, and the four of them decide to head off and try to make a life together. Finding a safe haven at the farm of kind, elderly Avery Elliot, the four of them find some measure of peace and stability. Then their mother’s crippling depression returns. Confused and paranoid, Ella is convinced that she and the girls must leave before Adam finds them and extracts revenge. The girls don’t wish to leave the only stable home they’ve ever had. But as Ella grows worse and worse, events conspire to leave them to face a choice they never could have imagined. Shoshanna has always watched over her sister and once again she has to watch over her ailing mother. Will she ever live a “normal” life? Shoshanna Ebersole, the daughter of two hippies, has never had a normal life, after a lifetime of abuse at the hands of her father, the commune leader, Shoshanna’s mother Ella along with her sister Mara decides to run away from their abusive life to rebuild their lives somewhere else. I really enjoyed this story, more than I had expected actually. It’s a great story with characters that you really want to like, although unfortunately I was never immersed into the story or with the characters. If I read a book I want to be emotionally involved with the characters and honestly I really didn’t care what happen to Shoshanna and her family, I cared more about the supporting characters than the protagonist and her family. Although I didn’t dislike them I just don’t feel that the characters or the plot was too realistic. For starters the all of the characters were way too modernized, I would have never known that it was set in the 70’s the only clues were the occasional “man” or references to “Big brother”. In my opinion all of the characters were a little too mature, Shoshanna and her sister Mara acted older than their years, while their mother was the only immature character in the book and they all were a little too adjusted to life outside of the commune. To me if the characters are born and raised inside of a commune with limited contact with the outside world they shouldn’t be familiar with what a tv is or junk food, and maybe I’m nitpicking the story but it did have quite a few issues. Overall I enjoyed this story even though it had many flaws and was predictable. I’m not sure if I would read another book from this author but this story has awakened my interest in the hippie movement of the 70’s and reading more historical fiction. I received this E- Arc from Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company in exchange for my honest review. No compensation of any kind has been provided in exchange for my review.