Lauren's Reviews > Flower Children

Flower Children by Maxine Swann
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's review
Nov 07, 07

bookshelves: bestof2007
Read in October, 2007

I highly recommend Maxine Swann's Flower Children. It's a very quick read - less a novel than interlocking short stories about children raised by hippie parents. The narrative voice ranges from chapter to chapter - from the plural (we) to a third person narrator to the voice of one of the daughters, and though this kind of transition usually bugs me, it works here.

The book follows the children through adolescence - each chapter lights on an event or a significant moment. Swann has an elegant spare style that works beautifully in the first and concluding chapters that focus on the children and the landscape surrounding their home, but as she expands her vision to include other family members in the story, she is less sucessful at capturing that sense of the significant moment or important transition. Still, her failures are noble ones. I really admired the way she captured the way images of our younger selves erupt through the gaps of our memories like mountains in a mist.

What I liked best is there is no sense of passing judgement on any character - a lesser sensibility would have made a 'look how my hippie parents neglected me and fucked me up' kind of book. The character of the father, esp, who really is a mess and declines as the story progresses, is drawn humourously and sympathetically.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy Silin Freas I read this this past weekend on your recommendation. I liked some of the characters--especially the father and Lonnie, but found it predictable and the ending completely expected and dissapointing. More about Buenos Aires perhaps?

Lauren Really? I liked the way she reverted back to the plural pov. Ithought that was unexpected.

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