All The Ghosts Dance Free by Terry Cameron Baldwin. Berkeley:She Writes Press, 2015. 307 pages ***
Baldwin shares her experience of growing up in the 60s in Southern California. Raised in a home of privilege, her beautiful self-indulgent parents provide the necessities but are hands-off parents emotionally. She and her sister are left to fend for themselves and when their parents divorce have to adjust to a shared household with their father. Married at eighteen in a fairy tale wedding that she described as being "on automatic, following momentum I'd put into motion." She and her husband begin a drug fueled vagabond lifestyle that eventually ends in divorce. Baldwin becomes a single parent raising her son, Yohosame, in the midst of the historical events of the 60s and her drama infused family.
This memoir has it all...divorce, drugs, suicide, alcoholism, religion, sibling rivalry, country club lifestyle, hippie wanderlust, idealism of the 60s, etc. Baldwin paints a detailed picture of her surroundings and the historical context of those events which will appeal to those who romanticize the 60s lifestyle. It was an interesting read, but seemed disjointed to me at times. I had to reread passages to understand the context and that took away (for me) from the overall story. Having grown up in the 60s myself in a complete opposite lifestyle, I applaud her memory and attention to detail. A worthwhile read especially for those enamored of the 60s or memoirs.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy from BookSparks to review.
Terry Cameron Baldwin is originally from California, where she received a BA in psychology and a BFA in painting and printmaking from Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe. She has worked as a stained glass artisan, painter, printmaker, jeweler, and calligrapher. She has lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico since 2006. She is active on Facebook, and her website is: www.terrycameronbaldwin.com.