Top positive review
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What lessons did you learn from your childhood?
on October 5, 2011
It is strange to be transported back in time to something that seems so familiar yet so completely different than my own experience. The author and I appear to be the same age, though we grew up in different areas with different religions. But I felt so connected to her character's growing pains, the need to fit in a family that didn't quite understand her, and knowing that her family was different than most because of the "higher law" they followed in their church.
Her father's magnetism comes through in an almost tangible way, and I can almost feel the wind in my hair and my own 13-year-old legs sticking to the vinyl seat of a truck on a summer day hanging out with my own dad. It is a father/daughter story, a difficult mother/daughter story, a story about making your own destiny, and a story about persevering in the face of almost overwhelming odds. It is the story of a broken family, which is common to many of us, and how the pieces reattach in interesting ways. I hope Ingrid Ricks writes more about both her mother and her father in the future.
When she writes about being the secret lost daughter of the Osmond family I could relate. What one of us as a teenager didn't want to be part of a famous family where we could forget the troubles and angst that plagued our junior high selves?
Hippie Boy brought me back to the Judy Blume books of my teenage years, though it is still a very grownup story. In fact, I felt a lot of compassion for the mother, who is consumed by religious fervor and can't seem to get any comfort from following her faith (I'm not religious or a mother, by the way). Even Earl, the evil stepfather who only eats meat (and smells bad because of it), is oddly compelling. How did he get to be this way? He reminds me of some men I knew growing up in a Baptist church in New Mexico, and now I want to know how they became that way.
If you like coming-of-age stories, tales about complicated but loving relationships between fathers and daughters, or relating to a child who knows she is different but can't do anything about it until she is grown, then this is the book for you. I really enjoyed this (and completely abandoned my to-do list for a day and a half to read it through).