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Flower Children
by Maxine Swann

Overview - ?A work of stunning lyricism and intense originality?(Mary Gordon, author of "Pearl"). From an award-winning short story writer comes this spare, lively, moving novel, quickly embraced by critics and readers, portraying the strangely celebrated and unsupervised childhood of four hippie offspring in the 1970s and 80s.  Read more...

 
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More About Flower Children by Maxine Swann
 
 
 
Overview
?A work of stunning lyricism and intense originality?(Mary Gordon, author of "Pearl"). From an award-winning short story writer comes this spare, lively, moving novel, quickly embraced by critics and readers, portraying the strangely celebrated and unsupervised childhood of four hippie offspring in the 1970s and 80s. Based on the author's own upbringing, "Flower Children" tells the story of four children growing up in rural Pennsylvania, impossibly at odds with their surroundings. In time, as the sheltered utopia their parents have created begins to collapse, the children long for structure and restraint?and all their parents have avoided.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781594483110
  • ISBN-10: 1594483116
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: June 2008
  • Page Count: 211
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP


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Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Flower Children

Swann offers an impressively constructed narrative about a pair of hippie parents and the children they raise in the Pennsylvania farm country during the 1970s and '80s. The children, Lu, Maeve, Tuck and Clyde, grow up roaming the fields and doing as they please. It's an idyllic existence until the children mature and become self-conscious about their unorthodox upbringing. Their father, Sam, is an intellectual who graduated from Harvard, while their mother, Dee, is an artist. Both are politically conscious members of the counterculture who try to instill in their children the importance of honesty and freedom. Their lessons about life start to ring false, however, once their marriage hits a rough patch. When Dee and Sam separate, the split turns the family upside-down. The children are soon exposed to unfamiliar facets of popular culture, including television and junk food. They also observe the romantic entanglements of their parents. There's Dee's new companion, a macho type named Bobby, and Sam's psychologist friend, who is gorgeous but dense. The events in this unconventional family history are recounted mostly by Maeve, whose narration is by turns hilarious, moving and wise. Swann's bittersweet novel convincingly documents the moods and manners of hippie culture, raising provocative questions along the way about the strengths, weaknesses and contradictions that defined a controversial generation.

A reading group guide is available at us.penguingroup.com.

 
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