A born storyteller whose prose immediately draws readers in, Forrester vividly portrays the fear of crouching in the dark with guns in case of a police raid, the horrors of being sexually assaulted by a babysitter’s husband, and the heartbreak of romantic betrayal and a subsequent abortion (which, pre-Roe v. Wade, required psychiatrist approval). She also skillfully outlines what can happen when starry-eyed teenage idealism meets bad actors—and the sometimes-lifelong results (in Forrester’s case, difficulty finding employment and an FBI investigation). Her skillfully crafted prose is studded with evocative, tender details (her hospitalized grandmother “looked like a wizened overripe potato. I cried to see her laboring for each breath”; she follows a women’s lib group’s instructions for masturbation “as though piecing together a balsa airplane”).
At the outset of this gripping account, Forrester muses, “I decided it was time to reclaim those lost years, to learn more about how I got there, and how I got from there to here.” She adeptly records how, despite her early choices closing some doors, they contributed to her becoming a strong, determined woman and led her to discover a happily-ever-after with her husband and two daughters. Readers will devour this deeply honest and heartfelt memoir.
Takeaway: This insightful and incisive memoir brings the ’60s to life and powerfully illustrates what it’s like to be radicalized—and deradicalized.
Great for fans of: Patricia Campbell Heart and Alvin Moscow’s Every Secret Thing, Bill Ayers’s Fugitive Days, Hari Kunzru’s My Revolutions.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A+