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Dharma Girl: A Road Trip Across the American Generations
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Dharma Girl: A Road Trip Across the American Generations

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  137 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Ignited out of complacency by news of her mother's cancer diagnosis, 23-year-old Chelsea Cain embarks on a revolution of self to the beat of the road. Cain and her mother set out for Iowa, and the site of the hippie commune where they lived nearly twenty years earlier. Dharma Girl presents an unforgettable journey about home, loss and self-discovery, and a deeply personal ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published October 23rd 1996 by Seal Press (first published October 1st 1996)
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Oct 17, 2009 rated it liked it
After hearing Chelsea Cain speak at a writers' conference banquet this summer and reading the first two of her thriller novels, I decided to go back to her very first book, which she published at the tender age of 23.

When I was a young girl, I always felt that I'd been born in the wrong era and was fascinated with "hippie" culture. Not so much the drugs, rock and roll, and sex, but more the living on a farm, growing vegetables, commune type of experience. In reality, I probably would have hated
Noni Barker
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A short, easy to read memoir by a not famous woman. Pleasant reading. A nice break from novels, mysteries, and historical romances that are my frequent fare. You may especially like it if you come from Iowa!
Nov 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book was really touching, and funny too. It made me feel nostalgic for my own childhood. In a strange way too, I felt like I wanted the life that Chelsea's parents had. Living on a farm/commune, living off the land, being free from society.
The book begins with Chelsea realizing how meaningless her own life has become, her neat little life in Irvine, California. She realized she wants more, wants to be more. It was close to home for me, since I feel a bit in the same place right now. I dream
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
June 2016

This is probably the fifth time I have read this book over the years, and I realized as I read it today (yes, in one day), that I go back to Iowa City each summer for the same reason as Chelsea (who worked on the Daily Iowan at the same time I did, although I doubt very much she knows me).

"It's me," I tell her. "I've come back to help you look for berries."

March 2014

Not a favorite because it is great literature, like Wuthering Heights, but a favorite because it is a good countercult
Sheela Word
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. The author takes a trip to Iowa, relives her early years on a hippie commune, and develops some insights about how she relates to her parents and the larger world. The book was well-written and interesting, but felt a little slight. Also, in some passages the author describes one of her past selves in the third person ("Snowbird comes in," etc.) or even has a conversation with that self -- a device that I didn't much care for.
Kathy Pedersen
Oct 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this short memoir, but I didn't give it 4 stars because I wish it were longer. I love the heart and emotion in it. I didn't like that there were so many characters that were apparently important to her life, but I didn't have any feeling about the characters. I guess if the memoir had been longer,I would have felt more into it.
Mar 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I got hooked on Cain's heat series and couldn't stop until I read them all now I'm anxious for the next installment. This is a lovely little tale about growing up in a 70's commune and coming of age while starting at Iowa Writers Workshop a very pleasant read.
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Actually not sure when I read it but it was a long time ago. (Her mother had been a patient where I worked.) I remember Chelsea saying then that if she wrote another book, it would not be about her relatives. I'm happy too see that she has written MANY more books.
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Picked this up while picking up the latest Joe Queenan. It was very short. I liked its take on Gen-x and the Hippie generation. I like when she's feeling disatisfied about her Cali life and how they don't do anything. I feel bad for her roomie who can't track it. I was pretty happy with it.
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was actually a little sad when this book ended! I loved the style of writing...easy yet poetic in it's own simple beauty. I could really relate to the author and her experiences. Overall, I loved this book!
Diana H.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
An interesting non-fiction title from an excellent horror/mystery/thriller writer.
This is a story about Chelsea as she was growing up with hippie parents and how she went home to Iowa to find herself as an adult.
Well-written and pretty interesting.
A nice read.
Carrie Pirmann
books I've read,memoir
Angie McCloskey
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loved
Could relate to the authors close bond to her hippie-at-heart Mother. Enjoyed the road trip as much as they did!
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was an absolutely darling little book! I wish it were longer, as I really enjoyed the ride.
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This was my favorite book when I was 18, although I think it had more to do with a sense of nostalgia for my youth than with the book itself. Hmmm. I should read this book again.
Josephine Ensign
May 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Another road trip sort of book, but this one felt disjointed somehow. I like how Cain portrays her complex relationship with her mother, but the 'going back to Iowa' part was not compelling.
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Funny, sweet, well-written.
rated it really liked it
Sep 19, 2011
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Sep 17, 2017
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Nov 11, 2007
Marcy Reed
rated it it was amazing
Dec 26, 2015
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Jul 25, 2014
rated it liked it
Aug 10, 2012
rated it really liked it
Aug 31, 2014
rated it liked it
Nov 11, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2009
Diedre Cave
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Apr 11, 2017
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May 25, 2014
rated it it was ok
Mar 14, 2009
rated it it was ok
Sep 23, 2007
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Chelsea Cain is the New York Times bestselling author of the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell thrillers Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, The Night Season, Kill You Twice, and Let Me Go. Her next book One Kick (August, 2014) will be the first in her Kick Lannigan thriller series. Her book Heartsick was named one of the best 100 thrillers ever written by NPR, and Heartsick and Sweetheart were na ...more
More about Chelsea Cain

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