Hippie Chick by Ilene English (Review by Lisa Albright)

2 min read

5 stars

When I expressed interest in this book it was because I was born in 1969 and I was curious about life in that decade. I was raised in a conservative household and being somewhat rebellious myself I ran off to Grateful Dead shows in the mid to late eighties searching for some kind of freedom, but instead finding remnants of a decade that most of us would never experience or truly understand as times and circumstances had changed. The freedoms that I thought I would find didn’t fit into the current world and I felt a little disillusioned by the lifestyle. Ilene’s story is very interesting as she lived what others tried to recreate and I could understand why it was so hard to capture the true spirit of the times.

Ilene does a great job of openly and honestly detailing the various stages and phases of her life and the ways they encouraged her to change. She tackles the bad experiences along with the good and gives an overall picture of a person using everything she learned to become the best version of herself possible while acknowledging that it was always going to be a work in progress. I loved her willingness to find value in every part of the journey and to always take a life lesson with her on her road to self-discovery.

Her descriptions of life in the sixties and seventies were fascinating and I enjoyed her stories of the various places and the different cultures she encountered and adapted to, in order to create a life for herself and survive. Her innate desire to survive and thrive is strong and I appreciated the steps she took to save herself and to find what was a healthy lifestyle for her and her daughter. She seemed to have a gift for seeing the best in people while accepting their faults and appreciating the growth that came from her relationship with them.

I greatly appreciated her insights into a time that I will never get to experience for myself and personal glimpses into a movement that I can only read about. Her stories of The Farm were especially interesting as well as the music scene in San Francisco during that time period. I was also intrigued by the cocounseling she participated in and I plan to do a little more research on it. I would give this book 5 stars as I thought it was well-written, engaging, and thoughtful in the way she related her life experiences.

Thank you for sharing this book with me!

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