Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Autobiography of Us

Although I was born in the 70s and mostly call myself a child of the 80s, I am a bit partial to the 1960s, despite never having even been alive in that decade.  There are so many great books I have read set in this time period that have managed to capture this era perfectly, along with television shows like American Dreams and The Wonder Years. My mom looks back on this decade with somewhat less fondness having actually lived through it and experienced a life of skirt wearing as a rule along with different expectation for women than men.
Aria Beth Sloss' new book, The Autobiography of Us is set in the 1960s chronicling the friendship of reckless Alex and Rebecca.  These two girls had dreams beyond what their mothers expected of them and in the 1960s it would seem that they would be able to move beyond the role of wife and mother - a role their own mothers filled.  Eventually, their friendship is forever fractured with an act of betrayal.
Alex and Rebecca's friendship was interesting to me as the two seemed so different and also so at odds with each other many times. Their dynamic didn't match any I have with my friends, and there were a few times I was certain their friendship wouldn't survive because of something they said to each other only to be proved wrong. The two continue to find their way back to each other throughout their lives. The dreams they had to reach further than their mothers aren't as easy to reach as they at first thought.  
The Autobiography of Us is a story of friendship in a time when girls and women were just beginning to realize their own potential, and has captured what I imagine the 1960s were like perfectly.

1 comment:

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I thought this book was a good one for addressing those times, and I lived through them. The 60s were indeed a time of flux, with the beginning half of the era more stilted than the latter. By the second half, the flower children were about and the "times they were a-changing." This was a book I thoroughly enjoyed.

I'm glad you did, too, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.