'They were inescapable, the tensions of the adult world — the fraught and febrile aura that surrounded Ishtar and those in her orbit, that whined and creaked like a wire pulled too tight.'
It is the winter of 1985. Hope Farm sticks out of the ragged landscape like a decaying tooth, its weatherboard walls sagging into the undergrowth. Silver's mother, Ishtar, has fallen f...more
It’s all ticker-tape parades and celebrations here on Goodreads for Hope Farm. And then there’s my two star rating, sitting alongside the glowing four and five-star reviews.
Hope Farm is the story of Silver and her mother, Ishtar. They have lived a nomadic hippie existence for all of Silver’s 13 years and, after Ishtar meets the charismatic Miller, they move to Hope Farm, a commune in rural Victoria. At Hope Farm, Silver sees her mother in a different light ...more
But, after such a promising beginning, it kind of falls flat. I totally get the intensity of Silver's yearning for the kind of parental love that has been absent. I also get how she has been shaped by her tumultuous childhood.
Ishtar, however, perplexes me. The adult relationships here seem cold and lifeless. Some of the events at ...more
Silver is aged thirteen in 1985 when she and her mother Ishtar move to a commune in rural Gippsland. The commune is named Hope Farm. Ishtar has moved because of the new man in her life: Miller. Ishtar is in love, and hopes that this relationship will last. Silver hopes for some stability in her life, for a home, to make friends. Silver meets Ian, who ...more
Some would call Ishtar a hippie, as she’s lived in ashrams on and off since Silve ...more
Ishtar as a character still remains opaque to me, and I have mixed feelings about the last few chapters, but I can't help melting towards Silver and her staunch inner world, and determination to eke something out for herself. She's a perfe ...more
The first half of Hope Farm was especially engaging but my interest ...more
I have many reading projects this year, one of which is to get back to reading contemporary Australian authors. I was helped along in this endeavour by collecting up the entire Miles Franklin shortlist, the novels of which all look outstanding. I start this project with Peggy Frew's Hope Farm, a novel of which I am tempted to label an Australian version of Lauren Groff's Arcardia. The alternative lifestyle and child narrator being the most obvious similarities. I quite enjoy a good "co ...more
The book is set in 1985 and P ...more
Hope Farm is a rich fictional recollection on the life of a young mother and daughter living in a sludgy hippie commune in 1980's Victoria. This structureless community, with its drug infused ideals and lack of parenting, trigger traumatic events which lead to lifelong struggles.
Thirteen-year-old Silver Landes is used to moving around between ashram and commune with her young, single mother Ishtar, but that doesn't stop her from yearning to have her mother to herself, and a place of their own ...more
Chris Womersley, Award-Winning Author of Cairo ...more
This book explores this against the backdrop of the beautiful Australian landscape .
I loved this book and really felt for the main character Silver. The only incongruous thing I found was the adult Silver grew into. I couldn’t reconcile that with the childhood she had.
Definitely worth reading
The events are seen through the eyes of Silver, a young teenage girl who trails after her beautiful but restless mother from one commune to another as each venue or lover disappoints her. Following a charismatic but dishonest man called Miller they finally settle on to a rundown Gippsland propert ...more
I listened to this as an audio-book after finishing a massive over-blown Kate Morton number, so by comparison the sharp writing and well-constructed story-telling really held my attention - so this was a rebound book. Much like a rebound boyfriend I had that was pretty much Miller. I got to revisit and put to rest some embarras ...more
Hope Farm is her l ...more