There are many things twelve-year-old Clover Blue isn’t sure of: his exact date of birth, his name before he was adopted into the Saffron Freedom Community, or who his first parents were. What he does know with certainty is that among this close-knit, nature-loving group, he is happy. Here, everyone is family, regardless of their disparate backgrounds—surfer, midwife, Grateful Dead groupie, Vietnam deserter. But despite his loyalty to the commune and its guru-like founder Goji, Blue grapples with invisible ties toward another family—the one he doesn’t remember.
With the urging of his fearless and funny best friend, Harmony, Clover Blue begins to ask questions. For the first time, Goji’s answers fail to satisfy. The passing months bring upheaval to their little clan and another member arrives, a beautiful runaway teen named Rain, sparking new tensions. As secrets slowly unfurl, Blue’s beliefs—about Goji, the guidelines that govern their seemingly idyllic lives, and the nature of family itself—begin to shift. With each revelation about a heartbreaking past he never imagined, Blue faces a choice between those he’s always trusted, and an uncertain future where he must risk everything in his quest for the truth.
Part coming-of-age tale, part love story, part mystery, Clover Blue tenderly explores an unconventional but no less complex family that resonates with our deep-rooted yearning for home.
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September 3, 1974
The Olders are letting us watch the birth. Harmony runs down the path ahead of me, her bare feet kicking up a cloud of dust. When she gets to the teepee she turns and yells, "Come on, Blue! Aren't you excited?"
"I'll be there in a minute." I balance on one leg to brush a sharp acorn cap from the bottom of my foot.
"Okay, but hurry up or you're going to miss it." She opens the canvas flap and disappears inside.
Letting us watch is a stretch. More like they insisted. Harmony and I were asleep when Moon was born so we both missed that one. Sirona says we're old enough now. Sirona is the family midwife. She delivers babies in people's houses around Sonoma County. This is only her second birth here at Saffron Freedom Community. The first was when she gave birth to Moon four years ago.
I walk slowly, taking small steps. I might be old enough at ten, but that doesn't mean I'm ready for this. I can't shake the memory of when our nanny goat, Inga, had a baby a couple years ago after one of the neighbor's goats got loose and mated with her. Inga ate the sac around her kid and the other stuff that came out of her afterward. I hope we don't have to eat anything that comes out after Jade's baby is born. We're vegetarian so probably not. But you never know with this family.
I want to be excited, but I'm a little freaked out. I'm worried Jade's baby might not survive, just like the baby goat that got sick and died. Goji forbids doctors and hospitals. We believe in natural medicine. Sirona probably knows what she's doing but what if she doesn't? What if none of them know what they're doing?
When I reach the teepee Harmony pokes her head through the doorway and grabs my hand, pulling me forward. "Come on, slowpoke."
I take a breath and step inside.
Jade is propped on pillows in the middle of the room. Her belly button looks like the tied end of a balloon, one that's about to burst from too much air inside. Willow and Coyote are on their knees near the head of the mattress, each holding one of Jade's hands. Sirona crouches at the other end, her red hair like a lit match piled high on top of her head, softly coaching Jade. The rest of the Olders sit with their backs against the far wall of the musty canvas, quietly chanting the ohm.
The minutes drag on for what seems like forever. Harmony paces back and forth behind Sirona. Every time Jade moans, Sirona tells her, "Almost there. Almost there." I'm pretty sure she's been "almost there" for over an hour now.
Jade tilts her head back to look at Coyote, her tired eyes begging for comfort. I hate that she's hurting. Goji often tells us that every light has a shadow, and pain is the price of joy. Goji is the leader, but he doesn't call himself that. He is kind of a guru, though, and everyone looks up to him. Still, this seems like too high of a price if you ask me. I wish Sirona would fix it. I thought that was her job.
Coyote pulls the tie-dyed headband off his Afro and dabs sweat from Jade's forehead. "You're doing great," he whispers.
Another moan from Jade that turns into a howl. I glance at Moon, asleep on a mat on the dirt floor, his head on his favorite blanket. He doesn't move. I can't believe the noise doesn't wake him.
Sirona lays a hand on each of Jade's thighs. "Here we go, sister. Baby's crowning. On the next contraction, go ahead and push." Harmony hovers behind Sirona, trying to see over our sister-mother's wide shoulders. I stick as close to the doorway as possible. I don't like the noises Jade is making. She sounds like one of the neighbor's dairy cows when they low for their calves after they're taken from their mothers.
Jade lets out a low growl, then holds her breath, straining as Willow and Coyote support her upper body until her face turns beet red. Harmony drops to her knees next to Sirona. She practically has her nose in there between Jade's legs, trying to get a close-up view of the action.
She glances over her shoulder and waves at me. "Blue, get over here! You gotta see this! The head is coming out!" I stay put.
Harmony rolls her eyes and turns to Sirona. "Can I touch it?" Sirona nods.
I feel a hand on my back. It's Goji. He nudges me forward just as Harmony touches her finger to what looks like one of those aliens she sometimes draws in her sketchbooks. The head turns sideways. The mouth opens and closes but it doesn't make any noise.
"One more push," Sirona says.
A gush of blood and water, then Jade's baby slips out from between her legs and into Sirona's hands. I feel like I might pass out. All these smells, like the sea on a hot day.
"It's a girl!" Harmony squeals. "Woo-hoo! I've got a new baby sister!"
Doobie and Wave stop chanting and move to join Goji and the others next to Jade's bed. Jade perches on her elbows, glancing from the baby to Sirona. "Why isn't she crying?"
I take a step backward to watch from a safer distance. Sirona squeezes a funny-looking bulb into each side of the tiny nose. Nothing. She leans over the baby's blue face and puffs into her mouth. The baby makes a squeaky sound, then lets out a lusty wail as she kicks her little legs. Everyone breathes a sigh. Sirona hands the baby to Jade's outstretched arms, a rope-like cord still leading to where she came from. I feel like I'm about to cry but I don't know why.
The brothers slap each other on the backs. Willow and Sirona drape their arms around Jade, crying happy tears, as if all three of them just gave birth. Having been raised equally by all three women, I've been taught to consider each of the sisters my mother. It's never been important to know who actually gave birth to me.
"Who did I come out of?"
All heads instantly turn toward me. I look at Willow. "Are you my mother?" Then down at Jade, now clutching the baby to her bare chest. "Or you?"
Harmony stares at me, her big eyes suddenly mirroring my question, the one I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to ask. Willow glances at Goji. He shakes his head slightly and whispers to Doobie. Doobie takes my hand. "Let's go for a walk."
I pull away from him but he practically drags me out the door. As he leads me farther from the teepee I try to guess his answer to my question. It can't be Sirona. I was five when she joined SFC. As far back as I can remember it was Willow who watched me the most. But Jade's always been nicest, liked to give me baths and tuck me in at night. Which one? Maybe neither. Maybe like Harmony's mother, my mom left Saffron Freedom Community a long time ago and never came back.
Doobie stops and rests both his hands on my shoulders. I close my eyes and wait for him to reveal the name of my mother.
"Goji will talk to you about this later, Blue. Now isn't the right time."
My eyes pop open. "I don't want to wait for Goji. Why can't you just tell me now?"
Doobie glances toward the teepee and back at me. He crouches lower so we're eye to eye. "It's complicated, little brother."
I look away from his face and focus on the peace symbol embroidered on his beat-up denim hat. "Seems pretty simple to me. Just point to her."
He hangs his head and combs through his beard with one hand. "I'm sorry. I can't do that. You'll have to wait for Goji to tell you."
I kick at the dirt with my bare foot. "Can't or won't?"
Doobie stands and motions toward the teepee. "Come on, Blue. Let's go meet your new baby sister."
I give up and follow him. He opens the flap and waits for me to step inside. The room smells like sweat and copper and bread. The Olders are all laughing and crying at the same time. The naked baby is still waxy and bloody as it squirms against Jade's bare skin. I sit on the floor next to Harmony and try not to look at the pink streaks on her legs where she must have wiped her hands. She throws her arms around me and squeezes. "We've got a new sister. Isn't she beautiful?"
The slimy new baby is not what I would call beautiful, but Harmony's arms feel like the only thing holding me together right now so I just nod.
Coyote kisses Jade's cheek and the top of the wet little head in her arms. After a few minutes Sirona wraps the baby in a blanket and hands her to Goji. He holds the bundle high in front of him with one hand behind her head, studying her face.
"She has such a bright glow about her. Like a million stars packed into one tiny being." He lowers the baby and kisses her tiny nose. "We'll call you Aura. Welcome, little sister."
"Welcome, Aura!" everyone says.
One by one they pass the fussing baby from arm to open arm. When Harmony hands Aura to me, she stops crying and stares into my face.
Doobie nudges me, grinning. "She digs those baby blues, brother."
Everyone laughs. Jade jokes that Stevie Wonder is the father but we know it's Coyote. Not just because of the baby's dark skin and black hair. You could see Coyote falling in love with that baby from the instant he laid eyes on her. It's the same way I've felt toward Sirona when she's patched me up after I've hurt myself, or when Willow made sure my bathwater was the perfect temperature, or when Jade used to sing me to sleep. And how Gaia used to twirl me around until the sky and the trees blurred into one. All the sister-mothers feel like moms, which is probably why I never bothered to ask which one gave birth to me before today.
* * *
After a celebration dinner, Goji invites me to his tiny shack for a man-to-man talk. "Come for tea after the sun sets," he says, kissing the top of my head.
As soon as the last pot is rinsed and hung up on a hook to dry, I bolt from the community dining area and sit on a big rock near the garden. I've never been inside Goji's house. It's off limits to the Youngers and rare that even one of the Olders is invited inside. I wait for the exact moment the sun disappears behind the surrounding mountains to walk toward Goji's private home and knock on the wood frame.
His voice answers from inside. "A door is only closed to those who see it that way."
I push aside the wool blanket hanging over the opening and stand just inside the doorway of his one-room house. It's even smaller than it looks from the outside. A small fire flickers in a little woodstove at the center of the room with a pipe leading through the roof. Stacks of books line the wall next to a messy table covered with papers and notebooks. Goji's cat, Ziggy, purrs at the foot of a mattress piled with blankets.
"Come here, little brother," Goji says. He's sitting cross-legged on the floor with his eyes closed, naked as usual, same as me. His black hair, just a few inches longer than his beard, is pulled into a ponytail that falls down his thin back. A white headband covers his forehead.
I creep closer, not sure where to stand. I'm not afraid of him. Goji has never been anything but kind to me. But there's something about him that makes you feel reverent, like I imagine people who were around those guys Gandhi and Jesus we've studied about. He's fed me, taught me The Peaceful Way, clothed me — when we wear clothes — and created this amazing place. I know he loves me.
Goji motions toward a pillow across from him, eyes still closed. "Sit."
He extends both his hands in front of him, palms facing me. I press my hands against his. He smiles and opens his eyes. "Welcome."
He drops his hands into his lap and I do the same.
"I understand why you asked about your birth today."
I feel my face grow warm.
"It's okay, Clover Blue. I've been expecting this day." "I ... I just wondered ..." I stammer before starting again. "I'm curious...."
I stare at the yin-yang pendant hanging from a thin leather strap around his tanned neck "Who are my parents?"
Goji retrieves a small book from the rickety table next to him and opens it to a bookmarked page. On the cover, a drawing of a turbaned head floats below the words The Prophet. Goji clears his throat and begins to read. "Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you they belong not to you."
Goji closes the book and sets it on the floor. He reaches for my hands again and this time holds them tightly in his. "We are all family here. The sister-mothers are your mothers. Whether or not you came from them, you come through them. All of them."
"Are you saying none of them are my real mother?"
"I'm saying they are all your mothers."
Goji's taught me that we're all pulled to our destiny and mine was to be part of the Saffron Freedom Community. But I want to know specifically which of the mothers I came out of. I press him for more.
"Yes, but which one actually gave birth to me?"
Goji's face looks pained and a little twisted, like when the sun gets in your eyes on a bright day. "You are the son of life's longing. You understand this, Clover Blue?"
"I know how lucky I am to be part of this family. I just want more details about ..."
Goji takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. "Your birth family failed to watch over you but it wasn't their fault. You were seeking something beyond them. Had it not happened that day it would have happened on another day. The soul cannot be stopped from searching for what it desires."
"Failed to watch over me? What do you mean? Where? What happened?"
He shakes his head. "It doesn't matter where you came from, Clover Blue. What matters is only here and now. God — the god in you — was seeking home and it is right here. Surely by now you understand that Love is the greatest attraction."
"But it matters to me. Why can't you —?"
"Society has their own set of rules, ones that aren't necessarily in alignment with the rules of nature. We took you in because it was destiny, ours and yours."
"So you adopted me?"
Goji sighs again, this time not as slowly. "It wasn't a legal adoption. It was a love adoption." He leans in, his dark eyes staring into mine. "If anyone outside of the family finds out, we'll all be separated. You and the other three children would be taken from us, probably put in foster care. Your older brothers and sisters could go to jail."
"And you ...?"
"Yes. And me."
My thoughts immediately go to Harmony. The thought of never seeing her again turns my stomach inside out. I suddenly feel cold. My body begins to shiver. Goji pulls a blanket from the chair behind him and drapes it over my shoulders.
"Clover Blue, you were drawn to this family by our loving energy, as we were to you." He moves his hands to my face and holds it tenderly. Tears spill out of his dark eyes. "Your sister and brother were meant to be there at that moment, just as you are meant to be right here, right now, in this moment with me."
"Which sister? Which brother?"
He doesn't answer.
"Will I ever get to know where I came from?"
He moves his hands to my shoulders. "When you're a little older we'll talk more about this."
"How much older?"
"When you're twelve. We'll talk more about it then."
That's almost two whole years away. I open my mouth to protest but he puts a finger to my lips.
"When you're twelve."
* * *
Everyone else is asleep. I lie awake in my bed thinking about what Goji said. His answers are like riddles. Maybe my real parents were drug addicts. Maybe they were mean people who hit their children. I should be thankful for my loving family here. Goji teaches us that gratitude is at the center of every experience, good and bad. He's right. He's always right.CHAPTER 2
August 12, 1976
Nobody knows my real birthday. Little by little I've learned bits and pieces about the day I arrived. I don't remember anything because, one, I was asleep and because, two, who remembers anything from their third year of life? All I know is that when Goji asked how old I was that first day I'd shyly held up three fingers. He declared August twelfth as my re-birth date.
Normally birthdays are like any other day because we're supposed to celebrate each day as a new birth. But because I'm turning twelve on the twelfth of the month, we're having a party. Of course this is also the day Goji has promised to tell me more about my past. He hasn't mentioned it since the night Aura was born, but he's taught us that our word is a measure of how evolved we are, so I'm pretty sure he'll keep his. We'll probably chat after the party.
Some of the Olders have decorated the army-green shade that hangs over our dining area with wildflowers and vines. When I walk up to the long wooden table, Willow kisses me and plants a wreath on my head made of clover blossoms. Her wet eyes have tiny lines just starting to grow out of the corners. "This is your day, Clover Blue. I'm so happy for you. For all of us."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Clover Blue"
Copyright © 2019 Eldonna Edwards.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
You know how sometimes it seems like your reading has a theme? Or similar plots tend to pop up over the course of a few months? Just me? This is the second "commune" book I've read recently (although the other was much more cultish than this one), and this is by far the better book (in my not-so-humble opinion). The story appears simple on the surface, but there is so much more here - family, forgiveness, freedom, and several non-f-word themes. It is predictable at times, but throws several curveballs at others. The antagonists are not true antagonists, not the typical mystery-bad-guy sense. There is so much more to their motivations, and it's truly difficult to determine who (if anyone) is the bad guy. It's a beautiful story, albeit with some rather cheesy and all-to-predictable moments, but the more I think about it, the more I love it.
Clover Blue is a book that will stay with you long after the final page. The characters are so richly developed, that I found myself dreaming about them at night. So emotional, filled with moments of love and tenderness and moments of heartbreak and rage. This is a book you want to add to your summer reading list!
Clover Blue is the first book that I have read by Eldonna Edwards. She tells the story of a boy named Clover Blue who lives in the Saffron Community, a commune of people that lived in California in the 1970s. The story takes place in Clover Blue's 12th year, and he has just begun to question his life story. Although he is very happy living in this setting, and cnnot remember anything prior to coming to the commune, he knows that he was not born here, and cannot seem to get a straight answer from anyone there on how he came to live there. This was a very realistic depiction of what life was like in an era in which communes, free love and going back to nature were all the rage. The book is a coming of age story in a setting that most of us had heard of, but were not involved in, and Ms. Edwards does an excellent job of describing the members of the commune and demonstrates interactions and struggles that are very realistic. After finishing Clover Blue, I am now interested in reading more of her books. Thank you #Netgalley and #KensingtonPublishing for giving me an opportunity to preview this book in exchange for an honest review.
Can I just start by telling you how much I love Eldonna Edwards! I have read and loved all 3 of her wonderful, heart filled books! You will fall in love with Blue, Harmony, Jade, Coyote, and all the rest. I was inside this 1970’s love filled commune, and didn’t want to leave. What a fabulously moving book. So much was going on, with so much to worry about. I truly loved reading this book. The ending was phenomenal and completely unexpected. I’m so grateful to Netgalley for the early ARC.
Author Eldonna Edwards arrived on the literary scene like a shooting star with her sensationally written 5 Star debut novel This I Know, and she is back a year later with CLOVER BLUE, another 5 + STAR novel that is mesmerizing and riveting, and is guaranteed to leave you “book-drunk.” I was fortunate to receive and read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of ClOVER BLUE, and it was as if the world stood still for two days as I devoured Edwards’ novel. Many have written it, read it, or heard it said: “I became entranced in the book from its very first page.” I have said it, and I have written these same, or similar words while reviewing a book, but the truth is, the first time I ever experienced being this captivated while reading a novel from its first page to its last page was when I read CLOVER BLUE. And yes, I was “book-drunk,” as well as melancholy when I read the last line of CLOVER BLUE. Everyone has read a book that left us wanting more when we closed the book, having read the final line, and feeling disappointed. I regretted gulping CLOVER BLUE down, not timing myself and often forgetting to take a breath. Edwards has written another artistically gripping novel, meticulously and impeccably balancing the plot flow of CLOVER BLUE and its true to life characters in their day-to-day lives living in the Saffron Freedom Community. Edwards’ is second to none in her crafting and development of characters and multiple vivid and illuminating character relationships, both within and outside of the Saffron Freedom Community. Edwards’ characters are adeptly created and introduced. Edwards creates and introduces each character so well that you feel as if you come to personally know the characters in CLOVER BLUE. You also come to know their unconventionality and differing personas. I wanted to meet these characters, namely Blue, Harmony and Rain as they were the foremost impetus for the emotions I experienced while reading CLOVER BLUE, emotions I continue to experience when I reminisce on CLOVER BLUE and nostalgia carries me back to the Saffron Freedom Community. Edwards’ characters and her masterful use of dialogue through the character’s interactions are a literary force to behold. One cannot help but connect with Edwards’ characters or find the characters have moved into your heart. Edwards’ CLOVER BLUE flows sublimely from its first page to its last page, and as I have already said, will leave you wanting more. The book description alone provides the reader with enough of the storyline to woo you and leave you yearning for more of Edwards’ 5+ STAR novel CLOVER BLUE. It will be incomprehensible to me if book readers, book lovers, and book clubs do not put CLOVER BLUE at the top of their must-read list. Edwards’ CLOVER BLUE is a beautiful coming of age novel that has my strongest possible recommendation I have given a book to date. What the book description does not tell you is that amid this thought-provoking, heartfelt one of a kind novel, Edwards’ injects parts of her scintillating sense of humor which had me laughing out loud again and again. To help you with your decision to purchase or put CLOVER BLUE at the top of your must-read list, I have to also say there is a ripple effect that begins from your first encounter with CLOVER BLUE and continues throughout the novel as Edwards’ brings CLOVER BLUE to its dramatic climax. CLOVER BLUE is a profound, coming of age literary masterpiece by an author without limit. D.B. Moone
As a child of the 70’s with hippie parents that often lived outside the “norm”, I was eager to read Clover Blue. Saffron Freedom Community is a peaceful, nature loving commune in the 1970’s when the world was in turmoil with the Vietnam War. Every member has their own reasons for living off the grid and we find out a bit about each one. Clover Blue is a young boy adopted by the group as a toddler. At 12, he starts questioning how he came to be in the commune and who his real parents are. Blue struggles with the love he has for the SFC members and his need to find out about how he was adopted. Eldonna Edwards’ beautiful writing instantly transported me to the Saffron Freedom Community. I have so much love for this book and amazing characters! Clover Blue is a book to be savored! I dig it!
Writing: 4 Plot: 4 Characters: 5 When 10-year old Clover Blue witnesses his first live birth in his Northern California commune, he begins to wonder which of the sister-mothers he actually came from. But there is an odd hush around that subject, in this otherwise open, loving, and caring community. Ranging from 1974 through 1978, the book follows Blue’s quest to understand who he really is. Blue is a wonderful character and the detailed depiction of communal life and those who chose it are inspiring. The author manages to paint a full picture of real people who have consciously formed a family in a spiritual environment and yet who have also made mistakes with serious impact. I love the balanced way she has shown what might happen in such circumstances — with an objective tone which simultaneously portrays the beauty of the people, their relationships, and their way of life as well as the struggles, frailty, and hypocrisies. I loved reading this book — particularly for the characters and the fact that it embodied all the best things I remember from that era (Blue is four years younger than I was during the time period). The commune members have their own backstories and their relationships within the commune parallel the evolution of the commune itself. The story unfolds beautifully with ongoing reflection. The commune is clothing optional and the kids are home schooled — with each of the “Elders” imparting their own wisdom. The local library serves as a fantastic resource. The essay Blue is assigned to write about people watching TV is priceless (he has to go to the local clinic to observe this as there is no television at the commune). One of the Elders sums up all of the great religions with: “Great prophets like Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha pretty much said the same thing… Be kind. Respect life. Pay attention. And focus on the here and now, not the promise of something better in the afterlife.” So simple. The start is a little slow — I initially found the writing a little clunky and almost stopped reading -- but fairly soon I was completely caught up in the characters and their surroundings and forgot I was reading at all (my measure of a good book!). Highly recommended!
My first book by this author and I thought it was really good. It seemed to start out slowly and grew as the story went on. It was heartbreaking in spots and joyful in others! Definitely recommend!! Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
I loved this book! Not only did it take me back to the 1970s, which is a time I lived through, but it also was full of wonderful characters, people that I came to know and love, just as they all loved each other. I loved the deep friendship that Blue and Harmony had together and the strength that they drew from each other. Really, the dynamics of everyone in the Community was so interesting. This story captured what I think it was probably like to live in a commune in the 70s, with all the peace and love that was the motto back then. Clover Blue is perfectly content in the only life he has known, until he starts asking the Olders about his life before he arrived at the Saffron Freedom Community. So typical of teenagers of any time period, he questions his elders and questions their motives, that rebellion things we all go though. As he digs for answers, will he be content to stay where he has lived most of his life? Clover Blue is a unique, beautiful story that I loved getting lost in. I loved everything about it—the cast of characters, the relationships both in the community and with the outside world, witnessing the love and support that they all gave each other, and watching Clover Blue grow and mature into a fine young man. I highly recommend Clover Blue and you definitely need to add it to your TBR list.
I read Ms. Edwards first fiction book, This I Know and was just blown away, it was one of my best books of 2018, yes, it was that good. So I was excited to receive an advance copy of her latest. When an author has a novel that is absolutely remarkable, you always wonder if the next one will be comparable, unfortunately this is the case of “not so”. I’m not saying this one is not worth the read, I’m just saying this one doesn’t meet the caliber of her previous one. This book takes us on a journey through the 1970’s (I’ve been through them once already) with hippies, free love, pot smoking and living in a communal environment. The star of the story is young Clover Blue, telling of his coming of age and unknown beginnings. This is a quick, easy read introducing several members of the free-love family and covers quite a few details of how the communes survived, raising their own food, meager expectations and controlled thinking. If you like a light story with just a little touch of growing up, this book would be for you. If you want an awesome story with heart, love and a wonderful storyline, her previous book is better. I was given an advanced copy from Kensington Books through Net Galley for my honest review, this one gets 4****’s.
Eldonna Edwards is a brilliant, master story teller. I was really impressed with this book and her message. Clover Blue is a wonderful piece of writing. The characters are authentic, vulnerable, and flawed. The dysfunctional family dynamics are painful and real. Ms. Edwards addresses relevant issues: family, loyalty, love, relationships, judgment and forgiveness. She asks the reader to look at the complexities of situations. To examine multiple points of view and invites you to witness life lessons and personal growth. This is a powerful book. I devoured it, not wanting to put it down. At the same time, I wanted to savour it. I enjoyed spending time with these people and was reluctant to finish as that meant saying goodbye to my new friends. I recommend Clover Blue to anyone who enjoys meaningful literature. It is a great read for everyone who has ever made a quick and unfair judgment about something or someone and I think it will speak to everyone who has a family. This book is so well written you feel all the heartache all the sadness and longing. You will shed many many tears while unable to put this book down. The characters are all so different and you will feel everything right along with them. Pity, sadness and heartbreak. This one that will stay with you for a long long time. This book is impressive, to say the least.
Clover Blue by Eldonnna Edwards is heartwarming and heart wrenching story about growing up in an alternative style family and the difference between tribe and family. It is an emotional story of a boy’s search for identity and coming to terms with what he has been told and reality. This is a story with many ups and downs and held me from the start. Clover Blue is a 12-year-old boy who has lived in the Saffron Freedom Community, SFC, for as long as he can remember. Clover Blue knows that he is loved and safe living among the sister-mothers and brothers. This is a community that lives off the grid and lives according to the tenets of Goji, their teacher. After witnessing the birth of a new member of the community, Clover Blue begins to question his identity. Who was he before SFC adopted him? What is his real name, since Goji renamed him? Who is his mother How did he come to SFC? Goji has always been able to answer and soothe Clover Blue’s inquisitive mind, however this time, it is not working. Clover Blue loves this close knit family group that he has at SFC, but something seems to missing. Clover Blue continues to seek answers to his questions and it leads him to doubt his place in SFC. He loves the community and does not want any of the members to come to harm. But one final act by Goji leaves him unforgiving. This is a compelling story. It is well written and the characters are very interesting. It would be very easy to make them cliché, but Eldonna Edwards has written them not as portrayed as stereotyped hippies but as individuals who are seeking something better for themselves and creating it with love and compassion. I highly recommend this book. It is well written and the characters are well defined and interesting, each with their own story. Thank you #Netgalley and #JohnScognamiglioBook for approving my request. The opinions expressed in this review are solely my own.
This was such a good book. It was so well written and obviously researched or lived it one. Maybe both. It touches on a few subjects that existed back in the late 60s and early to mid or late 70s. I was a teen in the 70s but living where I did we didn’t see a lot of free love. We did have us a wonderful senior class president who had very long hair. He was perfect for the job. My now husband had the hair too. It was just the thing back then along with the bell bottoms that covered your feet. Halter tops and either barefoot or in sandals.. I loved how this author captured this era so perfectly and the names of the characters were perfect. I fell madly in love with Clover Blue. He was such a good child and Harmony, she was one tough kid. The whole group in this book were so very likable and well developed. I was drawn in from the very first page and could not put this book down. Another one I read in two days. At times we have to put things on hold just to read. This was one of those times. I refuse to write a book report here. I just have to say that you will love this book. Especially if you are a child from the 70s. Even if you aren’t you will want to be after reading this book. It makes you feel like you are there with these characters. Running around barefoot and free. I didn’t see myself running around naked but sure did the barefoot part. I think the 70s was one of the best eras ever. Thank you to NetGally and Kensington Books for my ARC in exchange for my complete and honest review. I give this book a huge 5 stars. It is so very good. There are parts that will make you laugh and parts that will make you cry, hard cry too. But it’s such a good story. I highly recommend this book. Peace, Love and No War please!!
"Everything happens for a Reason." I was quickly engaged in this novel where the setting takes place in a commune during the 70's. The peace of the characters made me take my time reading each page. I immediately felt a serenity and became a part of the this group living and loving in nature. The main character Clover Blue, is a ten year old with many questions for his "family". How did he get to this fabulous residence? Who are really his parents? Does he have other family members? Will he find the answers he seeks as the time goes on? Eldonna Edwards has once more written a beautiful tale of love, family, friendship and hope that I truly believe everyone will enjoy.
Eldonna Edwards, Author of “Clover Blue” has written an intriguing, captivating, compelling, emotional and memorable novel. I love the way Eldonna Edwards writes her story and vividly describes the characters, community, and landscape. The Genres for this story are Fiction and Mystery. This is also a Coming of Age Novel. The author has written an amazing and thought-provoking story. The story takes place in Northern California in the 1970s in a small commune. The music that is described takes me back in time, singing songs silently. The author describes her colorful cast of characters as unique, questioning, hardworking, complicated and complex. Clover Blue has the most amazing blue eyes, and often enjoys his days with his best friend Harmony in the Saffron Freedom Community. The leader of the group, Goji believes in living off the earth, going back to nature, and homeschooling. Goji is extremely Philosophical and seems to have an answer for everything. There is a spirit of caring and love in this commune with the differences in the individuals that make it up. When one of the women gives birth, Clover Blue starts to wonder which of the women is his mother. After asking Goji, Clover Blue seems to get only the information that he is adopted by the group and will find out more information when he is 12 years old. As time passes some new members join. Clover Blue becomes obsessed with knowing who he is, not realizing the danger and damage that can be caused. Can Clover Blue’s deepest wishes come true? I loved everything about this novel, and would highly recommend this story.
It takes a village- or the Saffron Freedom Community- to raise a child. Clover Blue has been raised in and by the commune but at the age of 12, he wants to know who his birth parents are and how he came to be. He's always followed the group's leader, Goji, but now he's questioning things- a lot. The people of the commune- Harmony and Gaia in particular- are well done and realistic. If you, like me, vividly remember the 1970s, this one might cause 8 track flashbacks. If you don't (or if you weren't born), you'll get a good sense of how things were. No matter, it's a universal story of a child looking for his past and forming his future. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A very good read.