by Joye Emmens
It’s 1969. Jolie stands on the deck of her parents’ Santa Barbara home watching an uncontrolled oil spill. She’s outraged and motivated to do something about it. Jolie’s father may be an oil executive, but that doesn’t stop her from hitchhiking to the harbor and joining an anti-oil drilling protest.
When a television broadcast shows her protesting, Jolie’s father prohibits any more involvement. This fuels the fire burning inside of her, and she flees home with Will, her older, activist boyfriend. Idealistic and ready for anything, Jolie follows Will and his big promises into the sixties’ cultural revolution to create a better society.
Thrown into an adult world, Jolie lies about her age and identity and quickly discovers that nearly everything is more complicated than it seems on the surface—Will included. In this psychological love story, Jolie’s emotional journey from California to the East Coast, is one of pain, resilience, fear, and hope, as she navigates an increasingly controlling boyfriend and her own personal convictions.
Filled with colorful settings, characters, and the music of the times, She’s Gone is an authentic and heartfelt story of self-discovery that follows a young woman’s spiritual odyssey through the domestic unrest of the Vietnam War, the start of the environmental movement, and the Women’s Liberation Movement. Many of the social and political issues continue to be relevant today.
She woke a little while later. The room was dark. She must have dozed off. She heard Will’s guitar coming from the living room and went out to join him. Daniel was watching the news.
Will glanced up at her as she came in. “I thought I’d let you sleep.”
“Listen to this,” Daniel said, looking at the TV.
Will stopped playing and Jolie eased onto the couch next to him. Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was about to be interviewed. The news announcer proclaimed the House of Representatives had approved the Senate’s proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution to extend the right to vote to citizens eighteen years of age or older.
“Those who are old enough to fight are old enough to vote,” the Senator said. He stated America’s ten million young people between eighteen and twenty-one were fully capable of the privilege. The bill had been sent to President Nixon for his signature.
Will raised his fist. “Right on.”
Jolie and Daniel did the same, their mood jubilant.
Daniel turned to Jolie. “You can vote now.”
Could she? But that wouldn’t be right. She wasn’t really of age.
She looked from one to the other. “Just think. Ten million more voters. There’s a revolution right there.” And half of them were women.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Part and parcel with the growing anti-Vietnam war protests in the 1960's was a growing general disillusionment with American middle class material progress, with the "keeping up with the Jones mentality" and the general emptiness of American life. As alienated kids protested, grew their hair and smoked their pot, they began to reorder their lives and some of them "dropped out" of school and traditional careers to pursue different styles of living, and that's something our main character does in this book.
Jolie is very young, naive, full of ideals and good intentions, eager to know and do more, and in love with an older man, who takes her into a new world for her.
In this journey, she discovers hardship, friendship and most importantly Herself. This book is full of historic events, social movements and incredible music.
Absolutely recommended for everyone who wants to know a little more of this period of time, who gave to the world so many good (and some bad) things.
*I received a Free copy in exchange for an Honest Review*
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Joye Emmens was born in Santa Barbara, California. She enjoyed a successful career in environmental health before joining Amgen, a biotechnology company that researches and develops cures for serious illnesses. After ten years, she left Amgen to pursue a lifelong dream to write fiction. She lives in Ventura, California with her husband. Her two sons and grandson live in Seattle. Joye volunteers as a Big Sister and mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
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