Claire Hoffman spent much of her childhood, but aside from the Iowa setting, her childhood differed greatly from mine.
When Claire's father left her mother with two young children, her mother moved from New York to Florida and then to Iowa to the Maharishi's headquarters, which were located in Fairfield, Iowa where the former (and now bankrupt) Parsons College was located with Claire and Claire's older brother, Stacey.
Living in Fairfield, Iowa, should have been a wholesome upbringing, but Claire's mother had little money and was more into transcendental meditation and learning to fly than she was into blending in to a small, rural community.
Although Claire's childhood was unconventional, she learned a great deal about meditation from her time in the Maharishi community. Her mother still worked hard to provide a solid and safe home life, and Claire recalls evenings spent listening to her mother read aloud to her and Stacey as some of the best of her young life.
However, as she and Stacey entire adolescence, they begin to question the teachings they had been exposed to for their entire childhoods, and Claire makes a clean break by moving to California with the father who was absent for a great deal of their childhood.
I wasn't entirely sold on this book just from the title alone, but upon beginning reading became engrossed in this memoir. Claire Hoffman is a gifted writer that made this story come to life for me and allowed me to relate to her and the events of her childhood. Even though her life was far different than mine despite our close proximity, I could appreciate her experiences and was interested from beginning to end.
Thanks to TLC for providing a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.