‘Stuck in a1970’s Boat Commune’ By Laurel Kamada

When Aurora, 20, moves to Bellingham in the early 1970’s for university after high school, she gets into a bad, controlling relationship with Sam who takes control of her life and has her join him in a boat building project which soon takes on the form of a hippie commune where Aurora comes to feel trapped. Her only salvation is her friendships with other women, particularly Rose, the first-person narrator of the story. Aurora meditates and maintains her sanity while kneading bread and making meals and taking over the housework for a growing group of hippies who she dislikes. She is finally able to escape after the boat building is completed and launched by splitting up with Sam and moving back to her hometown. While the boys all dream of sailing off to a South Pacific paradise, Aurora is the first one to actually travel east to Japan shortly after leaving Sam and his unrealistic fantasies to get on with her own dreams. She learns how to take control of her own life and to pursue her own goals.

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