Read Disappear Home by Laura Hurwitz Online

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In 1970, as the hippie movement is losing its innocence, Shoshanna and her six-year-old sister, Mara, escape from Sweet Earth Farm, a declining commune, run by their tyrannical and abusive father, Adam. Their mother, Ella, takes them to San Francisco, where they meet one of her old friends, Judy, and the four of them decide to head off and try to make a life together. FindIn 1970, as the hippie movement is losing its innocence, Shoshanna and her six-year-old sister, Mara, escape from Sweet Earth Farm, a declining commune, run by their tyrannical and abusive father, Adam. Their mother, Ella, takes them to San Francisco, where they meet one of her old friends, Judy, and the four of them decide to head off and try to make a life together. Finding a safe haven at the farm of kind, elderly Avery Elliot, the four of them find some measure of peace and stability. Then their mother’s crippling depression returns. Confused and paranoid, Ella is convinced that she and the girls must leave before Adam finds them and extracts revenge. The girls don’t wish to leave the only stable home they’ve ever had. But as Ella grows worse and worse, events conspire to leave them to face a choice they never could have imagined. Shoshanna has always watched over her sister and once again she has to watch over her ailing mother. Will she ever live a "normal" life?...

Title : Disappear Home
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780807524688
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 256 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Disappear Home Reviews

  • Heather A
    2018-11-12 13:28

    I recieved a copy from Netgalley.Actual rating 2.5 starsThis one caught my eye whilst browsing on Netgalley, not my usual thing but figured I'd give it a try. A relatively quick read, I finished it in a few settings, a somewhat bittersweet story about two young girls and their mother who escape from a hippy commune in the 1970s and try to start a new life in California. While it had its moments, some of it was quite moving and tear jerkery, particularly towards the end, I still felt like...something was missing. The story didn't quite grab my attention, I liked it okay, but still....It felt like a lot of tell and not show, I didn't feel any particular connection to the characters. The story is told fron the point of view of the fourteen year old daughter, who was reasonably likeable, given the horrific circumstances. The mother was the most unlikeable character, though she was smart enough to getter kids out and away, she found her way across the country through somewhat illegal means and guilt talked the 14 year old into helping. As a reader you can understand why in the circumstances, but it was all very flat. The mother suffers from a crippling depression but again it's all tell and not show, there didn't seem to be much of an emotional impact when this came about. What I did love about this novel (even though the hippie lingo did wind up annoying me greatly) was the sense of friendship, family and community the girls and their mother find. I loved how people were willing to help them out and get thrown their feet and into a more stable normal life. That was quite heart warning to read about. There is always the threat that the mothers horrible boyfriend, the commune leader will come looking for them, and there are a few examples of terrible things he's done told to us in the plot, but again, it was stunted somehow and didn't feel anywhere near as frightening as it could have been. The end was probably the most moving part of the novel, and did have a bit more of an emotional impact. Though over all, the novel was just okay. Thank you to Netgalley and Albert Whiteman & Company for approving my request.

  • Claire (Book Blog Bird)
    2018-10-23 14:50

    I received a copy of Disappear Home in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Albert Whitman and Company and Netgalley. A copy of this review is also on my blog: www.bookblogbird.weebly.comDisappear Home tells the story of Shoshanna and her mother and sister. It’s 1970 and they have just escaped the Sweet Earth Farm where they have lived with their violent father and a bunch of other hippies for the past few years. They flee to San Francisco and meet up with a friend of theirs, Judy, and the four of them try to create a new life together in the nearby countryside.I have a bit a fascination not only for the hippie movement of the late ‘60s but also for the aftermath in the early ‘70s, so this book pressed a lot of buttons for me. I loved the descriptions of when the family lived in Haight-Ashbury in the Summer of Love, but more than this I liked the way the author described how the hippie movement had changed by the early seventies, how there were still plenty of people who believed in the whole peace and love ethos, but that for many the whole scene had turned a bit skeevy with drug addicts and panhandlers where there used to be flower children.The writing is simple enough to keep the plot flowing well but descriptive enough to give you a real sense of what it was like to live then, basically as an itinerant. Shoshanna and her sister Mara have never been to school, their mum never wants to stay long enough anywhere to put roots down, both from a dislike of authority and the government and a fear that their father will find them. I felt really sorry for Mara as all she wanted was some stability and to be like other kids.The story is told from a distant third person POV and although Shoshanna is clearly supposed to be the main character, her sister, mother and Judy also take an equal portion of the spotlight. Although the POV meant I didn’t connect with Shoshanna as a character that much, it was interesting to see what life was like for the other characters as well. Judy seemed like a really grounded, lovely person. Shoshanna’s mum seemed completely flaky in some of her beliefs - she refused to see a doctor about her cough, claiming that the body could heal itself and refused to let her children eat chocolate or ice-cream because junk food is apparently a right-wing conspiracy by The Man to try to kill minorities with diabetes and heart disease - but at the same time she was a fragile, damaged person with mental health issues, so she was still likeable.Shoshanna’s dad, Adam, was a bit of a one-dimensional baddie, but it was interesting to see the full extent of his evilness to unfold as the story progressed, from someone who was violent to his family, to being a drug addict and dealer and murderer.All in all I’d definitely recommend Disappear Home, and because the plot is quite gentle and gets wrapped up in a nice, neat Happily Ever After I’d recommend it for the lower end of the Young Adult age range.

  • Allison
    2018-11-14 11:46

    I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!While Disappear Home was a quick read, it was not because it was riveting and captivating. Unfortunately, this book was quite stale and disappointing. I liked the idea behind it well enough but the execution was just not there. Nothing really happened. Everything was just skimming the surface and the conclusion was far too rushed and tied nicely with a bow.I was not at all invested in the characters. Besides the basic information that we were given - an abusive father and husband, a hippie commune gone wrong - I did not really find myself satisfied with this motivation. We got microscopic snapshots into the family's past but nothing substantial and able to catch my attention. The characters were flat and unremarkable. The mother, Ella, deals with depression; however, we didn't ever get a huge look into this condition. Sure, she was tired a lot and grumpy and paranoid but, at the end of the day, we were more privy to her physical illness than that in her head - disappointing.In writing and reading, I usually enjoy the idea of "show, don't tell." This book was a whole lot of telling. Like, a whole lot. The dialogue was, at times, incredibly longwinded and unnecessary. It told us things that would have been better delivered through action and well-crafted images. The dialogue also didn't seem natural - either the statements were dripping with hippie slang like "bread" (meaning money) and, of course, tacking "man" onto the end of every sentence, or they were so precise and stilted that I couldn't imagine any of these characters saying it. We, as readers, were told that this commune was bad. Told that Adam was abusive and dangerous. Told that this and that and the other thing. Show me! The setting was also poorly drawn. Besides the references to the hippie culture and some other quick details, there was nothing grounding this story in the 1970s. Overall, the writing style was simple and, in my opinion, lacking.As I mentioned at the start of this review, I do think the plot is an interesting one. I was really looking forward to reading this book but, instead, I'm writing this review and wrapping up my experience with it feeling disappointed.

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    2018-10-29 14:58

    In 1972 Shoshona, her little sister, and mentally ill mother steal a car and escape from her abusive father and the commune where they've lived for the past five years. Her mother falls deeper into paranoia and depression, and may be more ill than Shoshona realizes.I received a complimentary ARC ebook from Net Galley in exchange for my honest review of DISAPPEAR HOME.I was excited to read this novel, while I was a little too young to be a hippy, I remember those years fondly. I hoped this would be a blast from the past. Except for a few "man" punctuations the dialogue during the early parts of the book, the characters used modern words and phrases. I wasn't fond of Laura Hurwitz's writing. DISAPPEAR HOME doesn't read like a YA book. For instance, I've never read a YA story where the parents were referred to by their first names and where a large part of the third person POV was that of adults. Because of the POV, I had a hard time caring about the characters. The girls were in a difficult situation, but the writing lacked enough heart to make me care.I am sorry, but I don't recommend DISAPPEAR HOME.

  • Peter Riva
    2018-11-18 17:35

    This is an exceptional book. Based on what are clearly memories and recounted family tales, the pathos of the characters, the strength of the mother, the place and time of the hippie values and ethic - these all ring true and soundly echo the emotions those of us who were out and about back then experiences. A warm, engaging and heartfelt read.

  • -RadioActiveBookWorm-
    2018-10-22 16:48

    Goodreads Synopsis: In 1970, as the hippie movement is losing its innocence, Shoshanna and her six-year-old sister, Mara, escape from Sweet Earth Farm, a declining commune, run by their tyrannical and abusive father, Adam. Their mother, Ella, takes them to San Francisco, where they meet one of her old friends, Judy, and the four of them decide to head off and try to make a life together. Finding a safe haven at the farm of kind, elderly Avery Elliot, the four of them find some measure of peace and stability. Then their mother's crippling depression returns. Confused and paranoid, Ella is convinced that she and the girls must leave before Adam finds them and extracts revenge. The girls don't wish to leave the only stable home they've ever had. But as Ella grows worse and worse, events conspire to leave them to face a choice they never could have imagined. Shoshanna has always watched over her sister and once again she has to watch over her ailing mother. Will she ever live a "normal" life?My Review: Who doesn’t like the peace and love folk? This book was a breath of fresh air and completely different from anything I’ve read lately. It’s about two young girls – Shoshanna (15) and Mara (6) and their mother, Ella and their life on the run. The book starts out with the three leaving their home at a run down old commune full of sketchy people, and where life takes them. They meet up with old friends, and adventure to a new life together, a happier life together. They escape an abusive husband/father, a horrible place to live for a family, and start to rebuild. The characters are extremely well thought out and realistic, and everything seems so read and I just love it. This is a great story. I imagine this is how people would be in the time and setting they’re in. The ending was happy and beautiful and just so fulfilling. I want to read it again and again. Sorry for the short review, but it’s an awesome book and I definitely recommend you check it out! I got my copy from Netgalley. Thanks for reading!(radioactivebookreviews.wordpress.com)

  • Ms. Yingling
    2018-10-22 14:58

    Shoshanna Ebersole has lived with her mother, Ella, and her sister, Mara, at the Sweet Earth Farm commune for years, but the three finally escape when Shoshanna's father, the drug addicted Adam, is overheard offering her to one of the other commune members as a "gift". Taking the commune's run down station wagon and $10 for gas, the three make it to San Francisco and find Judith still living in a house (pad) where the family once crashed. She's fed up with the drug addiction and unseemly types that have moved into Haight-Ashbury by 1972, and wants to move to Half Moon Bay, where some friends run a store that sells hippie artwork. When visiting, the Ebersole's car is identified as stolen and involved in a few crimes, including a hit-and-run. Luckily, the store owners know a farmer, Avery, who needs help and they move into Avery's barn and help him out. It's good that Judith is with the girls, because Ella is depressed and ill. When she becomes unable to care for her daughters, what will happen to the?Strengths: This reminded me a bit of Norma Klein's Sunshine, and I think it is probably the best coverage I've seen of commune life at the time. I'm sure that there were (and are) some very lovely communes, but this one showed the negative side of communal living while still having supportive, helpful people around for the girls. This will be great for the 1960s/70s unit my 7th grade teachers do. Weaknesses: There's a lot of drug use mentioned, and there is more sex alluded to (including a description of what 5 year old Mara saw, which is... borderline for me), but that was a big part of the hippie culture. Since it's not overly descriptive, I think I'll buy this. Very sad, but hopeful.What I really think: This will circulate with girls who want books about abuse as well as for the historical unit, so I'll be very pleased to get a copy of this.

  • AJ
    2018-10-27 15:44

    This book had a really good premise, but it was HORRIBLY written. I mean, horrible. And I've read a lot of books. I give it one star (well, 1.5 if I could) because I managed to stick it out to the end, but I really had to skim at the end because it was just so awful.The plot advanced way too quickly, almost everything that happened in the book happened in very awkward dialogue, and there was just too much spoon-fed to me as a reader. For example (and I paraphrase): "oh hey, I'm going to park my car really sloppy over here and keep one tire on the crosswalk, I know I could take two extra seconds to park better, but I'm not going to, so there!" And then a page later the car gets a ticket (which leads to several more very convenient plot developments). Wow, didn't see that one coming!In general, none of the characters were well developed. You get little glimpses of everybody, but nothing about what really makes them tick. And everybody gets along, like, instantly, and there's almost no drama or tension between people. It was seriously like an episode of the Waltons, as far as drama goes. (view spoiler)[Also, when a main character dies, and I'm just like "whew, good riddance," then somebody did a really crappy job writing that character. (hide spoiler)]It's all just such a shame, because this book could have been really good, if somebody else had written it. Or if the author had burned what she'd written and started over again, and the second time, actually did a good job writing.

  • Rebecca Phillips
    2018-10-23 16:56

    I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Disappear Home is a quick, easy read that I devoured in one sitting. I love books set in the 60s/70s/80s, and I also love books about teens trying to survive flaky parents (case in point: two of my favorite books of all time are The Glass Castle and The Center of Everything). So, Disappear Home had a lot of the things I like in a book. There are so many YA novels with romance, and while I love that (obviously, since I write it), sometimes I want to read a book about a main character just trying to survive and find security amid chaos. And that's what I got here. This is a unique YA. I love the "escaping from a hippie commune" idea. The characters are all well-drawn and the two girls in this story, Shoshanna and Mara, are easy to root for. Disappear Home is a lovely story about characters who are striving to create a sense of family and security and home during a very unstable time. And though I thought things wrapped up a little too neatly at the end, I almost didn't mind. Shoshie and Mara deserved an ending like that.

  • Jessica
    2018-11-13 17:29

    Did Not Finish. I tried to get into this one and I just couldn't. I think this story had potential but it was poorly executed and kind of fell flat.

  • Ella
    2018-10-26 12:38

    GUYS.I HAVE FOUND IT.*drumroll*A BOOK WITH A 14-YEAR-OLD NARRATOR THAT DOESN'T HAVE THE MATURITY OF A 2-YEAR-OLD.*dies of shock*WHAT IS THIS MADNESS??!!!

  • ☆Dani☆
    2018-10-27 13:36

    I received this novel from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.INTRODUCTIONLet's start with the good. When I read a historical novel, I want to feel like I’m a part of whatever bit of history I’m reading about. Sure, a novel set in the 18th century England might have a fantastic plot, but if I’m not feeling the setting, then it seems a bit of a waste to me.And that’s where this book shines. The world building is fantastic, really bringing you back in time through the use of language, descriptions and slang. It’s the little things- like telling us Ella and Shoshanna believe in 'vibes', and that Jefferson Airplane is on the radio.But then it goes too far the other way, and lets it plot get eaten up by the fabulous setting. The novel is so busy creating and sustaining this brilliant setting that it never really does much to advance the plot, or create any sense of emotion. We get no conflict or fight to succeed. And that’s the novel’s fatal flaw.THE CHARACTERSShoshanna- I didn’t dislike her, but she was fairly forgettable as a protagonist. She had so much more potential than she ever used- she’s a capable thief, intelligent, caring and somewhat world-weary, but she manages to fade into the background of the story, rather than getting up and fighting for what she wanted.Ella- An extremely frustrating individual, but a brilliant character. A hippy who is also battling mental illness, she is willing to put up with a lot in order to stay with Adam, the man she loves, but is also willing to do whatever it takes to keep her daughters safe from him. She’s stubborn, and very often wrong in what she says, but that’s why I liked her. She isn’t always doing the right thing, but she’s always trying to, even if her mental illness takes its toll on her.Mara- A well-written child, which you don’t often see in fiction. She’s messy and outspoken and naïve, but also sweet and good-natured. Honestly, Mara was probably my favourite character.Judy- I liked Judy, but there’s not much substance to her, and I never really understood why she was so important to the story. She’s way younger than Ella, and would have been only a teenager when they were friends, which I found a bit unrealistic. She hasn’t seen Ella in years, and she’s willing to go off and live with her, and then she’s able to (view spoiler)[adopt Shoshanna despite being only nine years older than her (hide spoiler)]. I don’t see why the novel didn’t make Judy and Ella sisters- it would have changed very little, except to make these things more believable.Adam- An excellent shadow over the novel, but his end was way too anti-climatic. There was no sense he was ever defeated, or that he ever won, he just (view spoiler)[died of a drug overdose, and that was it, the end. (hide spoiler)] I wanted to see Shoshanna face up to him, or maybe not face up to him, and have to deal with that. Something. Anything. Especially considering there were issues regarding Mara’s paternity, that were never dealt with.Avery- Fairly bland, and provided no conflict. Just another clockwork figure to keep things running smoothly.THE CONFLICTConflict? What conflict? Everything worked out too well, especially when we got to the end. (view spoiler)[Judy can’t have children- she adopts Shoshanna and Mara. Shoshanna and Mara have a set of grandparents who might claim them- they’re too old to take them. Adam might come back- nope, he’s dead. (hide spoiler)] It was all too easy and convenient.Sure, (view spoiler)[Ella (hide spoiler)] died, but even that provided no conflict. Everyone just quietly accepted this fact, and then moved on. Other than the initial runaway, none of the characters ever had to fight for anything, and that annoyed me.And just for the record, this book has a plot VERY similar to Jacqueline Wilson's Lola Rose- mother escapes an abusive relationship with her teenaged daughter and much younger child; they settle into a new life while fearing the return of the father; there's a auntlike figure who takes care of the siblings; and (view spoiler)[the mother gets cancer (hide spoiler)], but I do honestly think that’s a coincidence. I'm just pointing it out because Lola Rose deals with these issues with far more depth and emotion than Disappear Home does, bringing the characters to life, and getting you right inside their heads, as well as showing the difficulties they face in each situation.Like in Lola Rose, the ten year old daughter is forced to deal with nightmares due to her escape, the challenges of a new home, taking care of her brother, money issues, nights away from her hospitalized mother, begging for food from neighbours, working out who to get help from and then she goes through a self-imposed challenge to deal with her greatest fear, hoping it will make everything better. After all this, the end is satisfying, and leaves us feeling fulfilled, as we saw how the plot affected the characters.In Disappear Home, there is no sense of challenge or work in order to get to where they do. Shoshanna grows some vegetables, (view spoiler)[learns her mother is sick, visits her in hospital, and then goes to the funeral when she dies.(hide spoiler)]Where’s the fight, whether internal or external? Why doesn’t Shoshanna work to get what she wants? It drove me mad.It all just seems to result in the novel missing some emotional impact. This sort of novel should have had me sobbing, and yet I always felt kind of distant from the story, which is the reason it's not really deserving of four stars, despite the fantastic setting(because seriously, I can’t stress that enough). I'd definitely read another book by this author, but there needs to be more conflict and fight in her next book for me to really fall in love with it.

  • Vanessa Fry
    2018-11-12 18:55

    The book centers on teenager Shoshanna Ebersole, a girl who escapes a hippie commune/cult with her sister and mother. The three are running from Shoshanna's father and cult leader, Adam. Shoshanna must find a way to keep her family safe while Adam is hunting them, and her mother's health is failing. Ultimately the plot kept me interested in the novel, but overall, the author's style left much to be desired. Hurwitz seemed to be trying too hard to make it believable that the book was set in the 70s, especially within the dialogue and the actions of some of the characters. I would have liked it a bit more if there was some more action between Adam and the family or if the ending wasn't so predictable. Overall, this was a decent first novel from Hurwitz, an interesting take on the idea of the hippie commune, and I would love to see what Hurwitz comes up with next.

  • Mandy Dow
    2018-10-28 17:40

    I hadn't realized this was a YA book when requesting from the library, but I read it anyways and it was sweet.

  • K. M. Donnelly
    2018-10-21 17:32

    I very much enjoyed reading this book and I had a good time while I was reading it, but at the end I felt a strong desire to sit down with the author and discuss ways that I thought it could be improved. While I liked it, I felt that the novel could have used one more draft before being published to really bring it to its full potential. The tone of the story was a very nice and well-written mixture of sweet and sad, but the characters seemed to be trying to suggest that I be fearful or concerned for their safety, which I was not. While there were threats to be faced throughout the story, I could never believe that Hurwitz was not looking out for her characters or that she would let anything too awful happen to them. I felt much more sure of their safety than the characters did, which made me feel less connected to any of them, even the protagonist Shoshanna. This connection could have been helped had the narration been more grounded inside Shoshanna's head, giving us thoughts, feelings, senses, and details from her point-of-view instead of relying mostly on dialogue to move the plot along. A lot of things were told instead of shown, which was disappointing.While Shoshanna, her sister Mara, and her mother Ella have every reason to be overly wary and paranoid, and are stated to be very cautious people, they rarely seem to be. They make very quick and positive opinions of other characters and give their trust and love very willingly. The story often moves to quickly, and this is most likely because there is very little happening. The book does not feature the conflict it needs to to be truly riveting. Despite Shoshanna continually telling the readers how concerned she was about her father, Adam, finding them and how much she thought abut him and what he would do to her, she very rarely thinks much about it. Despite being told, numerous times throughout the book, that "Adam has radar," readers are never really given an opportunity to feel that or decide whether it's true or not. Although Adam is certainly established as cruel, he never feels like a genuine threat at the time of the story. Instead, the book seems to mostly cover the time after the real threat and danger have gone instead of focusing on the conflict of trying to leave the farm. The characters were said to have struggled, but by the time we meet them, things are coming to them fairly easily with friendly faces and helpful hands everywhere they seem to turn. Instead of building to a big conflict, the plot slowly peters out, with no particular climax. While not as deep as I would personally like it to be, point-of-view is consistent for about 99.5% of the book, but occasionally loses Shoshanna completely and gives thoughts from other characters or details Shoshanna shouldn't know for a paragraph or two before returning to her. But with all of those things, I still very much enjoyed reading Disappear Home. I felt that this book was worth the time I took to read it and that a great start, but could have used more conflict and an extra draft. This was a good first novel and leaves me with high hopes for Hurwitz's future projects (which I do want to edit, though).

  • Amie's Book Reviews
    2018-11-04 12:42

    DISAPPEAR HOME by Laura HurwitzGenre: Young Adult FictionPublication Date: March 1, 2015* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*This book can be considered historical fiction since the events take place 43 years in the past. This book is set in 1972 (coincidentally that was the year I was born). The hippie movement is basically over, but there are still many hold-out hippies living on communes or clinging to their old neighborhoods even as they decline around them. Shoshanna, her sister Mara and their mother have fled Sweet Earth Farm, a commune they had been living at for five years. They have fled from Shoshanna's abusive father Adam. They fled the commune because hunger, violence, drugs and chaos had become the norm on the commune. There is another darker reason that prompted them to flee when they did which is revealed further into the book.The story is told mostly from the point of view of fourteen year old Shoshanna. Her mother is 'checked-out' for much of the story and is at best an unfit mother and at worst a criminally negligent parent. However, the girls don't know this. All they know is that she is their mother and that they love her. The three make it to San Francisco to the home of a friend. This friend readily takes them in and helps them to move to a small farm where an elderly man is in need of help. Although there are frequent references to the hellish conditions they lived in at Sweet Earth Farm, the girls seem remarkably well adjusted ... almost too much so. Mara is six and is age-appropriately self-centered, but Shoshanna seems almost too good. She puts aside her own desires to help her mother and her sister. She is a teenager. Teenagers have raging hormones. That is just a fact. I would have expected at least one major freak-out, but that was not the case.One thing that was surprising about this book was that Shoshanna showed zero interest in boys. This is unusual. Most young adult books center around teen romance. That fact alone makes for a refreshing change.I am having a hard time deciding what rating to assign to this novel. I enjoyed reading it, but there were a few minor plot problems. I also had a hard time believing that so many people were willing to help out. Since I was born in the seventies I don't have any first hand knowledge of what people's behaviors were during that time period. But, things like Avery (an elderly farmer with a struggling farm) being able to afford to eat out every day and to just go out and buy groceries for four more mouths to feed without batting an eye seems unrealistic. But, maybe I am nitpicking. The story is unique and the setting is not one that is often seen in Young Adult fiction. I did enjoy the book and it is a quick read. My final rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars and I do recommend it to young adult readers. It will shed some light on the darker side of the hippie movement which is often portrayed as a time of all peace and love all the time. All things considered, DISAPPEAR HOME is worth reading.To read more of my reviews visit http://amiesbookreviews.wordpress.com

  • Rae Quigley
    2018-11-14 11:48

    Originally posted on Drunk On PopPLEASE NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions held within this review are my own thoughts and feelings and do not reflect upon anyone else.Trigger Warning: Book includes child/domestic abuse and drug useThis was way different than the books I usually choose to read. I’m not typically interested in books set in earlier decades, but I was really intrigued by the description. I set myself up to be disappointed – it’s not rare for the descriptions of books to be exaggerated to seem better than it really is. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be as good as it seemed, if not better.This is a young adult book that involves a teenage girl that is not obsessed with boys and dating. A story that revolves around the characters surviving through awful events and coming out on the other side. These things don’t occur in YA books as much as they should. Even the brilliant dystopian novels that have come out throughout the past few years rely too much on romance. This was a breath of fresh air, and I’m so glad I read it.The book was inspiring and emotional. I cared deeply for all of the characters, and felt actual disgust and fear in regards to their abusive father/husband Adam Ebersole. There were a few things that I wished went a bit deeper (like the police keeping an eye on Judy’s friends after finding the stolen car near their shop and the stolen silverware made into bracelets) but for the most part I was impressed with how well the story flowed. Time passed appropriately, I felt, and the conflicts were seen through fully. When I had to put the book down to go to work or do other things I was itching to get back to it. It was that good.

  • Isobel Radakovic
    2018-10-27 10:35

    I've wanted to read more Historical Fiction for a while now, as there are some great titles out there, and I also wanted to experience some unheard of ones too, which is why I decided to check this one out. The setting really interested me, with the whole hippie element and just the time when it was set. This in particular interested me as it deals with the aftermath of the hippie movement, as opposed to when it was in its prime.The contrast between the people who still believed in the whole peace and love ethos, and those who had become drug addicts and just generally skeevy was interesting, especially when I read about how things used to be compared to how they were in their present day.The predominant thing I felt while reading this book was just sadness for Shoshanna and Mara. Most of their childhoods had been taken away from them, with no education, an abusive father and a depressed mother. Things had not been easy for them in the slightest and even when they escaped it still wasn't perfect. However they still saw the bright side to everything, and I really admired that about them. Even though Shoshanna had to become a carer for both her sister and her mother, she still didn't let it get her down.I'm really glad that this book and that the sisters had someone like Judy in it; a character that obviously has their best interests at heart and sticks by them throughout. She acted as a support, someone for Ella to lean on, but also as a motherly figure towards Shoshanna and Mara. She was my favourite character in this book, because of just how much of a genuinely good person she is.Ella on the other hand, was quite different. Despite her faults, I don't think she was a bad mother and I know that she loved her children dearly, but she just had other things she had to deal with too, which sometimes got the better of her. I really enjoyed this book and it has made me interested in this time period, so I will be on the lookout for more like this!

  • Victoria (thepetitebookblogger)
    2018-11-09 10:48

    Shoshanna Ebersole, the daughter of two hippies, has never had a normal life, after a lifetime of abuse at the hands of her father, the commune leader, Shoshanna’s mother Ella along with her sister Mara decides to run away from their abusive life to rebuild their lives somewhere else. I really enjoyed this story, more than I had expected actually. It’s a great story with characters that you really want to like, although unfortunately I was never immersed into the story or with the characters. If I read a book I want to be emotionally involved with the characters and honestly I really didn’t care what happen to Shoshanna and her family, I cared more about the supporting characters than the protagonist and her family. Although I didn’t dislike them I just don’t feel that the characters or the plot was too realistic. For starters the all of the characters were way too modernized, I would have never known that it was set in the 70’s the only clues were the occasional “man” or references to “Big brother”. In my opinion all of the characters were a little too mature, Shoshanna and her sister Mara acted older than their years, while their mother was the only immature character in the book and they all were a little too adjusted to life outside of the commune. To me if the characters are born and raised inside of a commune with limited contact with the outside world they shouldn't be familiar with what a T.V. is or junk food, and maybe I’m nitpicking the story but it did have quite a few issues. Overall I enjoyed this story even though it had many flaws and was predictable. I’m not sure if I would read another book from this author but this story has awakened my interest in the hippie movement of the 70’s and reading more historical fiction.I received this E- Arc from Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company in exchange for my honest review. No compensation of any kind has been provided in exchange for my review.

  • Jessica
    2018-10-28 16:48

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest reviewFirst off I want to say that I love the cover! I think it is very pretty and it definitely jumped out me!!BlurbIn 1970, as the hippie movement is losing its innocence, Shoshanna and her six-year-old sister, Mara, escape from Sweet Earth Farm, a declining commune, run by their tyrannical and abusive father, Adam. Their mother, Ella, takes them to San Francisco, where they meet one of her old friends, Judy, and the four of them decide to head off and try to make a life together. Finding a safe haven at the farm of kind, elderly Avery Elliot, the four of them find some measure of peace and stability. Then their mother’s crippling depression returns. Confused and paranoid, Ella is convinced that she and the girls must leave before Adam finds them and exacts revenge. The girls don’t wish to leave the only stable home they’ve ever had. But as Ella grows worse and worse, events conspire to leave them to face a choice they never could have imagined. Shoshanna has always watched over her sister and once again she has to watch over her ailing mother. Will she ever live a “normal” life?Despite the pretty cover and the interesting blurb I just couldn't get into this book. I kept putting it down and picking it up. I think the characters fell a bit flat. I couldn't really relate to them which is disappointing. Although the characters weren't my favorite, I loved the sense of family and friendship. The ending is a bit emotional and I think if I would have connected with the book and the characters more that it would have hit me harder than it did.

  • Evie
    2018-11-08 18:33

    I wasn't digging it. Ella's voice sometimes fell flat a lot and while that kinda makes sense with the depression, I still couldn't get a read on her. The writing wasn't fantastic but it wasn't terrible, either. It definitely showed potential. Mara was easy to write, I'm sure, since she's a kid. But Ella didn't always stand out from Soshie except for when she was saying, man. Or far out. Or other quintessential hippie things.I'm not going to lie. I requested this book solely because of the cover. It's GORGEOUS. Absolutely gorgeous. If I could get a print of that cover, I would. But the story? Not so much. It was getting tedious. There was too much repetition and the dialogue wasn't realistic. I only made it 68% before I had to stop reading. I've officially decided that life's too short to read bad books and there are a ton of books that are worth reading out there. I could see a lot of potential in this story but I think it was just gone about in the wrong way. It could have been framed differently or made not as dramatic. Information about Adam was too slow in revealing itself and I feel like not a ton of stuff happened by the time I finally decided to stop. I wish I would have liked it better. This would have been a great story, especially since I haven't read anything that's set in the 70s.

  • Rachel of the Summer Court
    2018-10-18 17:40

    This book had a lot of potential to be a coming of age tale, but it fell flat and was just a bland story. The book starts with the mother & two daughters escaping a decrepit commune. There is little to define what they were doing there; was it a cult? It sounds like they were just a bunch of lowlifes, but not much to go on. They sold apples to buy drugs? They really hated refined sugar and chocolate?Judy, the savior of the novel was a huge deux ex machina. A young talented woman sitting in an apartment in San Francisco is ready to give up everything for an old junky she used to party with? Hmm.The mother was horrible and unlikeable. She apparently has depression, but this isn't really explored. At one point in the novel she tells her older daughter that all of the awful decisions she made were worth it because she came away from her old life with her daughters. There is no guilt or shame that she put her 2 daughters through hell. She's supposed to be a blameless victim, but she's been complicit through their childhood horror (whatever that included?). Not sure I'd recommend the book, I didn't really like it or hate it. It felt like the entire book was leading up to a huge conflict, but the pot just kind of simmers.

  • Nicole (Reading Books With Coffee)
    2018-11-14 14:30

    I wanted to like Disappear Home, but found that I couldn't. I honestly didn't get why they were terrified of Adam, and how horrible Sweet Earth Farm was, and I feel like if we had spent some time there with Mara, Shoshanna and their mom, them leaving would have more more sense and given everything more context. It was very moving at the end, but I felt like it was too late at that point. We definitely are told what's going on, and I wish we saw what was happening. I understand why the mom acted the way she did, and she did have the sense to get the kids out of there, but at the same time, I disliked her so much. It was just so hard to care about any of them, even the girls, and it was hard to get invested in their story when I feel like we know so little about them. It also didn't really feel like it was set in the 70's either. Granted, this book takes place during a time long before I was born, so I don't really know what the 70's were like, but it really could have happened at any point in time. Rating: 1 star. It was an interesting premise, but I couldn't get into it, and it felt like too much was missing.*I received Disappear Home from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  • Penny Olson
    2018-10-31 14:57

    I enjoyed reading Disappear Home. It was a very fast and easy read for me. The main character Shoshanna and her little sister Mara, escape with their mother, Ella, from the dysfunctional hippie druggie commune where they live with their abusive father Adam. He is basically a nasty piece of work. Ella is not a particularly likeable character but she has the strength to get her daughters out of a bad situation, despite what turns out to be serious mental and physical health issues. What saves them is that they find Ella's friend Judy in San Francisco. Through what we would now call networking, they end of finding a place to stay on a farm and create a new family. There is not a lot of tension, as the threat of Adam always looms, but he does not actually end up coming after them. Everything ends tied up neatly and for the girls there is a really satisfactory ending. The fact that there isn't a Shoshanna boyfriend subplot is refreshing to find in a YA novel. The author is able to evoke a strong sense of place - northern California in the early 70s.

  • Jennifer Nieves
    2018-11-08 16:55

    I received a copy of this book throught NetGalley3 STARS ***I don't want to say it was a light read, because the story itself is not a light read, but it is the type of book that you can read pretty fast and not become emotionally invested. That is not to say the book isn't emotional or moving, but for me, I didn't quite connect to it as the author might have intended.This book is told in the POV of the first character, Shoshanna, and it follows her and her younger sister, Mara and their mother Ella as they move away from their abusive father and Shoshanna's mother starts sucumbing to her depression and doing things that are not safe for the girls.Like I said before, it was hard for me to connect with the characters emotionally, BUT the book itself is good. It has many moving moments, and the book focuses a lot of friendship and family bonds.I definitely recommend reading the book if you are looking for something and arent sure what to read or just go ahead and read it and give it a chance.

  • Carlisa
    2018-11-05 13:53

    I received this eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I think that there are people who will like this book, but I just couldn't get through it. I usually like historical fiction but it just seemed forced and stereotypical a lot of the time. One of the main characters, Shoshanna, a 15-year-old girl, was so annoying to me. I think she was supposed to be smart, sympathetic, and kind of the guide to those around her. But she's 15 and she's grown up in a dysfunctional home. She isn't going to have these perfectly moral beliefs and be able to tell everyone around her. A lot of the time I felt like she was judging her mom and then other times, she'd be super defensive of her. It just wasn't consistent.I think the hardest part for me was that I couldn't connect with the characters. I didn't feel sympathy for them and so I struggled to even make it through the first half.

  • Megan (Magic & Musings)
    2018-10-18 13:39

    *I was fortunate to receive an eARC of this book from NetGalley and Albert Whitman & Company, thank you*I can't help but feel a bit disappointed with this novel, however much effort I put into trying to love it. I was gripped, at first, by the story of escape from abuse and the idea of the three main characters finding a new life together. I was happy when the character of Judy was introduced, but that was probably the last happy moment for me in the reading of this novel. There was so much promise for this novel with its choice of story and subject matter, but I feel most of the most interesting points were skimmed over in order for the story to keep moving forward. Very little detail was given about the commune they escaped from, as well as their father, who we are told is bad but never really witness 'in person' doing anything. We are just told. I wish I felt more emotionally connected to this story but by the end I just felt a bit bored.

  • Cameron
    2018-10-21 12:56

    It's not easy to pull off a historical novel for tweens and teens that is edge-of-your-seat exciting, but Hurwitz has done just that. She also treats some mature themes, such as domestic violence, in a way that will be comprehensible to that age group while also staying real. Two weeks after finishing this book, I am still thinking about its characters and wondering what they are up to. I can't recommend this book highly enough--whether you are an adult, a teen or a tween.***Today I am adding a review by another reader:Co-author of the much loved series, Adventures of Riley, Laura Hurwitz has outdone herself in her new YA novel, Disappear Home. This well-written book has characters you will believe in and suspense enough to make it a page turner. Although it deals with loss and the harrowing effects of domestic violence, the novel offers to the reader the hope that there can be such a thing as a safe and loving home at the end of many trials. --Ann M. Gearen

  • Kerryn (RatherBeReading)
    2018-11-10 14:45

    I was really intrigued by the premise of this story, about two girls and their mother trying to escape a hippie commune and leave their abusive father behind.I had some problems with the writing in this story, the dialogue at times felt very unrealistic. Also there was a lot of telling and not much showing. We were expected to understand everything Shoshanna and Mara had been through without ever having actually beenshownanything.(view spoiler)[ It felt as though this book was building to a climax involving some kind of confrontation with Adam. And perhaps the girls finally 'facing up' to this dark part of their past but this just never came to anything.(hide spoiler)]Overall i did enjoy this story but i thought it could have been better executed.Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for providing me with a copy to review.

  • Maxine D
    2018-10-28 14:50

    This novel by Laura Hurwitz captivated me. It was the emotional, spiritual, and physical journey of a girl, along with her her mom, and her sister. They run away from their horrible abusive town, to make a new life in California. The authors writing helps the reader understand the main character’s life that she lives under a shadow of fear cast by her abusive, druggie, devil of a dad. The unpredictable plot kept me from putting the book down. I read the whole book in one sitting! The characters were interesting, well defined, and added another dimension to the story. Overall, this was a great book, and i recommend anyone to try it.