Rachel's hippie-style parents take her to live an alternate lifestyle on a desolate commune in India. She is the only child for miles around, though with her insight she seems to be the only adult sometimes. She takes an unusual experience and adds lots of humour to make this a fun, fascinating book to read.
This is a really good book. Honest, tenacious, compassionate, and fierce. Full of meaning. The story of someone who's been through very difficult things, and has made it through to the other side a strong person: able to laugh, love, forgive and live.
In this fast-paced memoir, Brown recounts how her ex-hippie parents decide to leave California and settle at Mehr Baba’s ashram in dusty, hot Ahmedanagar, a place full of eccentric characters. Uproariously and absurdly funny in parts, the India described here is not one of snake charmers and exotic excesses. The author’s account of devotee behaviour (her mother is a prime example) and their never-ending ability to interpret all things as signs or lessons from the guru is told with dry wit. The disturbing accounts of both the indifferent parenting and the bullying she endured are told in a similar tone. Brown remained a misfit through the five years at the ashram and returned to her own country as a pre-teen. Her memories of her childhood remain fresh and vivid. The book is authentic in detailed observation, and fresh and original in tone.
Funny but not. As she says, if she had had a normal upbringing she would not have become a writer.
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