Travel! Adventure! Romance! What could possibly go wrong? It’s 1972 when free-spirited “good girl,” Fay, takes off on a 3-year journey around the U.S. and Europe, in search of jobs, apartments and boyfriends. She soon finds is that navigating her way through a pre-feminist world will take a skill set her Sunday school teacher never taught her.
Faron writes with buoyant humor, setting the stage for her travels and the era with cultural references (“*On the Radio: Mac Davis’ ‘Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me’”) and acknowledging that maybe rather than a writer she aspired to being “a Creative Live-er.” Her targeted audience is adults, and women especially will enjoy the story, as much of Faron’s writing centers on the challenges she faced as a soul-searching woman during an era of change. She’s frank about having held attitudes that today seem retrograde—“nobody liked lesbians, not even the Woman’s Movement”—though the occasional dated expression supports the theme of Faron breaking free from her conservative upbringing.
Faron’s retelling of these experiences is engaging and impressive, with great attention to detail, and, for all the laughs, moments that stir real emotion. She’s open about her naiveté as she began to explore sexuality and the secular life, and at the heart of her narrative are richly complex friendships and romantic relationships. The story moves along at an enjoyable clip, as she shares amusing and intimate descriptions of people, places, and awkward situations. Faron’s photos—linked in ebook format—are a wonderful addition.
Takeaway: Faron’s ‘70s tour of the U.S. and beyond offers laughs, insights, and moments of real feeling.
Great for fans of: Ashley C. Ford’s Somebody’s Daughter, Tara Westover’s Educated.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+