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Sister Golden Hair
by Darcey Steinke


Overview - When Jesse's family moves to Roanoke, Virginia, in the summer of 1972, she's twelve years old and already mindful of the schism between innocence and femininity, the gap between childhood and the world of adults. Her father, a former pastor, cycles through spiritual disciplines as quickly as he cycles through jobs.  Read more...

 
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More About Sister Golden Hair by Darcey Steinke
 
 
 
Overview
When Jesse's family moves to Roanoke, Virginia, in the summer of 1972, she's twelve years old and already mindful of the schism between innocence and femininity, the gap between childhood and the world of adults. Her father, a former pastor, cycles through spiritual disciplines as quickly as he cycles through jobs. Her mother is chronically dissatisfied, glumly fetishizing the Kennedys and anyone else who symbolizes status and wealth. The residents of the Bent Tree housing development may not seem like beacons of the secret knowledge that Jesse is looking for, but they're all she's got. Her neighbor tans on the front lawn and tells tales of her married lover; her classmate playacts being a Bunny at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club; the boy she's interested in fantasizes about moving to Hollywood and befriending David Soul. In the midst of her half-understanding, Jesse finds space to set up her room with her secret treasures: a Venus Flytrap, her Cher 45s, and The Big Book of Burial Rites. But outside await new sexual mores, muddled social customs, and confused spirituality. It's a terrifying time--in the shadow of Manson and the hangover from the idealistic sixties--when alienation overtakes liberation. Girlhood has never been more fraught than in Jesse's telling, its expectations threatening to turn at any point into delicious risk, or real danger. Darcey Steinke captures all of this with an intimate, startling grace.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781935639947
  • ISBN-10: 1935639943
  • Publisher: Tin House Books
  • Publish Date: October 2014
  • Page Count: 333
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-07-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

Steinke’s (Easter Everywhere) latest novel opens as 12-year-old Jesse’s father, an ex-Methodist minister, is settling the family in for a new life in Roanoke, Va. With a perpetually dissatisfied mother, a father tossed in the waves of spiritual uncertainty, and a little brother happily rooted in the childhood that Jessie is quickly leaving behind, she turns to the neighbors in her duplex community at Bent Tree for companionship and guidance. Jesse consults older women wise in the ways of dance and romance, peers well informed on superstitions, and Playboy Bunnies in an attempt to understand the budding sexuality pushing her into the uncharted territories of liberation and loneliness. Her treasures, like her copy of Big Book of Burial Rites and the Cher and David Bowie songs piping from the radio, are the endearing artifacts of a young girl struggling both to stand out and to fit in. Despite its lack of surprises, Jesses’s story is nevertheless convincing, filled with nostalgia for the early 1970s. (Oct.)

 
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