Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Laws of Harmony
Judith Ryan Hendricks
When I read Bread Alone I wanted so bad to go to Seattle. With The Laws of Harmony, once again I want to return to Washington. This time to the San Juan Islands. And I'm not picky, I'll take any of 'em.
Soleil, aka Sunny, Cooper grew up on a commune in New Mexico. Longing for normalcy, she flees to college in Albuquerque as soon as she can. Years later, she's doing voice-over work and baking brownies for living. When her boyfriend Michael dies in mysterious circumstances, Sunny finds herself under siege from angry investors and curious cops. Spurred on by bad memories and the I Ching, she flees to San Miguel Island, Washington. There, in the tiny town of Harmony, Sunny learns to accept help from kindly people and rebuilds her life.
Hendricks intersperses Sunny's current story with important memories of her childhood at Armonia, the commune where she was born and raised. A commune that had a five-seater outhouse! We only had a two-seater. No, I didn't grow up on a commune, but I did live in a barn and use an outhouse for awhile. And my mom cooked on a wood-cook stove. So while my childhood in no way resembled Sunny's, there were a few things that vaguely reminiscent of growing up in the wilds of Oregon with wanna-be hippies for parents.
Okay, enough about outhouses. I loved this book, but I also loved Bread Alone. If you are a fan of Hendricks, I'd say run out and grab this one.