A Year in the Company of Freaks
If you dont know what youre getting into with this book, this is one of those titles that will pleasantly surprise you.
After the death of his parents, Sid Jackson is placed on probation for growing pot. Part of his rehabilitation, in addition to stipulations set up in his parents will, includes Sid staying on the family farm, which forces him to make the old farm into a boarding house. And so begins a topsy turvey year as five extremely unalike people change one anothers lives forever.
A Year in the Company of Freaks is disarmingly appealing and subtle in its approach. While the book does have its rough edges in terms of narrative, it never acts pretentious with its characters or the story its trying to tell. The author lets the story tell itself and doesnt try to tell the reader what to think about the people or the circumstances of the day, let alone try to glamorize the 1970s. Instead, she focuses on issues such as brutal abortions, the state of high feeling among youth, the anger over the war, and uses the space to explore the depth of the human heart. As it relates the complicated clash of culture and counterculture, Freaks acts as an authentic, strongly Seventies book, that very much reflects the attitude and mood of the times. It doesnt stretch beliefs, but rather lets the reader get caught up in the lives of the freaks of this story as they come vividly to life. Northern California works as a strong presence in the novel that is vivid and omnipresent, but never overwhelming. The house also feels like a character, with the shadow of Sids parents flashing in and out of the edges, ever-present yet seldom on-screen. Teresa Neumanns unassuming book will have its digs in you before you realize how involved youve become. This is a subtle book that is sure to intrigue and entertain readers.