Book Title: A Year in the Company of Freaks by Teresa Neumann
Category: Adult Fiction, 515 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: All’s Well House
Release date: Dec 21, 2015
Tour dates: Sept 11 to 29, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (Little violence and profanity, no f-words, no sex, but some drug use)
It’s 1972 and a seismic clash-of-cultures is rattling northern California. In the redneck town of Trinity Springs, rumors of hippies migrating up from San Francisco have residents bracing for an invasion. When Italian-American hometown boy and Berkeley graduate Sid Jackson is busted for growing pot on his deceased parents’ farm, locals suspect the assault has begun. Will a crazy deferral program devised by the sheriff keep Sid out of prison? Or will a house full of eccentric strangers, a passionate love interest, and demons from his past be his undoing?
A “disarmingly appealing” tale of discrimination, transformation and restoration, Freaks is bursting with intrigue, drama, comic relief and romance. Reviewers agree this five-star, coming-of-age classic “very much reflects the attitude and mood of the times.”
I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
I don’t read a lot of general fiction because I prefer other genres but I’m glad I chose to read this book. Since I was a teen in the seventies, I don’t really think of it as historical fiction (am I that old??). It amazes me how the author was able to take a year in the life of 5 strangers and make it so interesting that I had difficulty putting the book down. Talk about a page turner!
Sid just graduated from college in Berkley and planted some pot on his deceased parents’ farm thinking he could sell enough to make money to travel Europe before getting a job. Unfortunately, someone turned him in. Since the farm is in a small town and his parents were loved by the sheriff and his wife, the sheriff is able to get a year of probation for Sid…with some restrictions. He has to stay on the farm and get boarders and take care of the finances as well start fixing up the farm.
When the boarders start showing up, Sid wonders how in the world he’ll ever get through a year with these strangers. One is a Jesus freak, one is an albino motorcyclist, one is just a little crazy, and one is a Vietnam vet. They’re all so different but as they work together to do chores and get to know each other, by the end of the year they’re good friends. Sid not only learns that there’s more to people than what’s on the surface but the year of responsibility helps him to grow up and appreciate his relationships with friends and family.
The characters in A Year in the Company of Freaks are complex and believable. The turmoil of the seventies is well represented by them. It is full of love, conflict, friendship, loyalty, and drama.
Praise for A Year in the Company of Freaks:
“This coming of age story will draw the reader right in. Teresa Neumann demonstrates how much she values relationships in her writing … a precious skill. I held my breath all the way through to the final few pages. Five stars!” — The San Francisco Book Review
“As it relates to the complicated clash of culture and counterculture, Freaks acts as an authentic, strongly Seventies book. Northern California works as a strong presence in the novel that is vivid and omnipresent, but never overwhelming. Sure to intrigue and entertain, Freaks will have its digs in you before you realize how involved you’ve become.” — The Manhattan Book Review
To read more reviews, please visit Teresa Neumann’s page in iRead Book Tours.
About the Author
Author of highly-acclaimed “A Year in the Company of Freaks,” Teresa was raised in a large Midwest family and now lives in Oregon. She is also the author of “Bianca’s Vineyard,” and its sequel, “Domenico’s Table.” Both books are based on the true stories of her husband’s Italian family in Tuscany. In addition to enjoying family, writing, reading, meeting her readers, wine tasting, traveling, and all things Italian, Teresa loves playing the fiddle with other musicians.
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