Disappear Home by Laura Hurwitz: Book review

Disappear Home
Book title/Author: Disappear Home by Laura Hurwitz
Publisher/Year: March 3rd 2015 Albert Whitman & Company
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series: No
Pages: 262
Source/Format: e-arc | NetGalley
(Thanks NetGalley/Albert Whitman & Company!)
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

*This review may contain spoilers!*

Synopsis

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 exacts 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 have a "normal" life?

My review

I've wanted to read more Historical Fiction for a while now, as there are some great titles out there, and I also wanted to experience some unheard of ones too, which is why I decided to check this one out. The setting really interested me, with the whole hippie element and just the time when it was set. This in particular interested me as it deals with the aftermath of the hippie movement, as opposed to when it was in its prime.

The contrast between the people who still believed in the whole peace and love ethos, and those who had become drug addicts and just generally skeevy was interesting, especially when I read about how things used to be compared to how they were in their present day.

The predominant thing I felt while reading this book was just sadness for Shoshanna and Mara. Most of their childhoods had been taken away from them, with no education, an abusive father and a depressed mother. Things had not been easy for them in the slightest and even when they escaped it still wasn't perfect. However they still saw the bright side to everything, and I really admired that about them. Even though Shoshanna had to become a carer for both her sister and her mother, she still didn't let it get her down.

I'm really glad that this book and that the sisters had someone like Judy in it; a character that obviously has their best interests at heart and sticks by them throughout. She acted as a support, someone for Ella to lean on, but also as a motherly figure towards Shoshanna and Mara. She was my favourite character in this book, because of just how much of a genuinely good person she is.

Ella on the other hand, was quite different. Despite her faults, I don't think she was a bad mother and I know that she loved her children dearly, but she just had other things she had to deal with too, which sometimes got the better of her. 

I really enjoyed this book and it has made me interested in this time period, so I will be on the lookout for more like this!

Izzy

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