My Central Tucson Book Club has Sarah of the Moon for this month's selection. Even though I will not be there to share with them, I decided to read it, in order to be with them in spirit. I had no idea what it was about or what I was getting into.
It is an excellent, well written book. I had never heard of Randy Mixter before, but I genuinely wonder why because his writing is exceptionally gifted. Within a very few pages, I was completely pulled into the story, to the degree that I did not feel I was reading but was watching a movie.
This is the story of Alex, a young man doing a summer internship for a Baltimore newspaper. The time is 1967 (I was 17 years old, between my high school junior and senior years). The major setting is the Haight-Ashbury area in San Francisco. Alex comes to SF to write weekly stories for his Baltimore paper, trying to give the "straight" adult (whole different meaning back then!) a picture of the Summer of Love and the counterculture scene. This is the setting.
The story is about Alex's coming of age, learning to accept people who are very different from him, to understand how this culture grew, and to find his own place in the world. Alex moves in to a house that his editor pays the rent on for his nephew. The scene of his entry into the house is quite funny, picturing out totally out of place Alex is. As Alex gets to know the houseguests (as they are called), we get to know them as individuals. At first, they are painted by a broad brush of "hippies". But over time we realize they each have their own story and are not so very different than "straight" young people.
I give this book 5 Stars! It is literature, well-written, interesting and an historic record of a life-changing era in the history of this country.