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The acclaimed author of Prayers and Lies explores the complex bond between a daughter and her errant mother in this poignant, beautifully written novel.
Judy Webster is born in a mud-splattered tent at Woodstock, just as Crosby, Stills, and Nash take the stage. Her mother, Cassie, is a beautiful, flawed flower-child who brings her little girl to anti-war protests and parties rather than enroll her in preschool. But as Cassie’s husband, Kirk, gradually abandons 1960s ideals in favor of a steady home and a law degree, their once idyllic marriage crumbles.
Dragging Judy back from the Kentucky commune where Cassie has taken her, Kirk files for divorce and is awarded custody. When Cassie eventually moves to an ashram in India, Judy is grief-stricken. At school, she constructs lies to explain her unconventional home-life, trying desperately to fit into the world her mother has rejected.
As Judy starts to grow up and grapples with her father’s remarriage and her own reckless urges, she encounters all the joy and heartbreak that goes with first love, first loss, sex, drugs, and self-discovery. And when Cassie comes home again, Judy must ultimately decide what role she’s willing to allow her mother to play in her life . . .
“Emmons has a keen grasp of the difficulties of mother-daughter dynamics, and the specific struggles of young parents who are still figuring themselves out. She also paints . . . a vivid, expansive background for an intimate story.” —Publishers Weekly