'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...more
In 1985, Ishtar under the spell of a new boyfriend, takes her thirteen year old child, Silver off to live at Hope Farm, which is a kind of sad, failed hippy commune. Silver's descriptions of the events of that year are absorbing and the engrossing story unfolds around the various personalities that affect Silver's life.
While Silver is 13 for the majority of the book and experiencing all the angst of teenage-hood, her first crush and the mi ...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
I found this book enjoyable on multiple levels, some I wasn’t expecting. The story of ...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
I loved the story of the young Silver becoming her own personal as she travels into the teenage years. ...more
Chris Womersley, Award-Winning Author of Cairo ...more
Silver, looking back on her childhood and the traumatic events of her thirteenth year in 1985, narrates most of the story, with interleaved excerpts from her mother’s memoir filling in her own backstory. Her mother is Ishtar née Karen, who embraced the communal lifestyle when a ...more
Although there is a distinct plot, Hope Farm is about the relationship between Silver and her mother, Ishtar. Action, thoughts and feelings are opened up to our scrutiny in chapters alternating the respective points of view of Silver and Ishta ...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
Hope Farm is her l ...more