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First, I love the name Starbird. A few years ago at the Chuckanut Writers Conference, Karen Finneyfrock said she named the character after Starbird Road, which is the 218 freeway exit between Bellingham and Seattle. I drive past this exit all the time, too, and always have loved the sound of it. It makes for a great character name and book title.
I enjoyed every page of this book and didn't want to put it down until I found out what happened to Starbird and the Family. I found the resolution completely satisfying.
This is a tight young adult novel with universal appeal. Every scene, every character is there for a reason. Starbird is naive, yet smart, and I like the way Finneyfrock explores cult-think from the perspective of the indoctrinated. I also appreciate that the cult is not portrayed as good or evil. At one point, a teacher tells Starbird not to look for absolute rights and wrongs because the world rarely provides them.
This is a nice simple read for kids 12 and up. It gives a discreet look into the world of unique living situations outside the realm of the ordinary. The author could have easily attacked communes or "cults" here, but showed that in a situation that seems so alien to outsiders, there are plenty of good traits that the collective has to offer--with plenty of kind souls just trying to make it in the world. I like seeing the outside world from the main characters eyes experiences high school for the first time, and the jolt/paranoia she has about "outsiders" in general. By the third act it starts heating up and had me glued to it, until the end of the book. Look forward to more from this author!
Great read!! Not just for young adults . Very compelling exploration of life in a sheltered community which could be compared to many groups with strong beliefs that differ from mainstream society. Also a beautiful study in negotiating difference and growing up. I bought this book for all the women and teens in my family for Christmas and got rave reviews. Ms. Finneyfrock is an author to watch. I hope to hear a lot more from her.
Karen Finneyfrock does it again! I devoured The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and couldn't wait to read her second novel! Starbird is the kind of heroine I wish I had read about when I was in high school: intelligent, passionate and full of heart. This book is a perfect summer read for yourself or any young woman in your life who needs a bit of inspiration, magic and empowerment!
Very disappointing. I really like this sub-genre. And please send me any good recommendations on good hippie stories to read. This fell pretty flat and I just couldn't get into it. Not much happens at all in the first few chapters.
Having lived through the original iteration of the hippy commune, I found much of this book a bit of a slog. The people live on the farm without ID or any sort of connection to the outside world. They Iive in a sort of orbit around the man named Earth. Starbird comes to her last name rather late in the game and finds she was born Starbird Murphy. She has totally drunk the Kool Aid and believes as dogma the rules that edge her life. Work is hard, food is not fancy, and belongings are frowned upon. She can be excused to find her celestial calling to be assigned to the chicken coop..
I never thought I would be the tiresome adult to find all this all too twee and heavy slogging. Their just isn't too much that is new here. One wants to slap someone on the average of once a half hour, and that is a bad sign. The characters can have some redeeming wistfulness and the world of the commune does portray one of a kingdom coming to the end of its cohesion in an interesting way. Just really does the main guy have to call himself Earth?