A sheltered 15-year-old growing up in San Francisco becomes part of the 1967 Summer of Love when she falls for a free-spirited hippie who changes her life.
An aspiring pianist from a conservative family, Joanne’s attracted to the “hippies, freaks, heads, beautiful people, [and] flower children” who crowd the Haight District. Her mother’s the perfect hostess, her father’s wary of hippies, her older sister’s quitting Berkeley to support her graduate-student husband, and her mindless brother can’t wait to join the Marines and “blast away Commie gooks” in Vietnam. On the fringe of the in crowd, Joanne and her best friend Rena wonder what it’s like to smoke pot and live in New York City. When she meets Martin, a gorgeous hippie whose vagabond life contrasts sharply with her own, Joanne keeps their casual, friendly relationship secret while he gently guides her through the counterculture of drugs, rock and war protests. As society shifts seismically, Joanne must choose between Martin’s fluid lifestyle and holding onto her family and her dreams. With realism, humor and honesty, Joanne describes a brave new world of miniskirts and bell bottoms, rock music and psychedelic drugs, feminism and the Pill, anti-war demonstrations and profound political upheaval.
First-rate coming-of-age story with spot-on late-1960s period detail. (Fiction. 15 & up)