Book Review by Diane McCurdy - October 2019

Some writers just have the knack. It's not just intelligence or talent.Some very profound authors are interminably dull. Eldonna Edwards is the type of scribe who draws one in. Her characters become flesh and blood.

Clover Blue is twelve years old. We first meet him when he is more or less reluctantly called in to witness a baby being born. The birth is taking place in a tee-pee. The delivery itself arouses Blue's curiosity about the circumstances surrounding his own birth. He wonders which member of the Saffron Freedom Community is his mother. When he asks the charismatic but creepy leader of the group, Goji, he tells him only that he was adopted. It was not a legal adoption but a "love adoption". This sort of abstract explanation only whets Blue's determination to find out his bloodline as he yearns for a sense of identity. This search provides a suspenseful theme carried throughout the book.

Blue lives in a treehouse. Harmony is his best friend.She is sassy and more adventurous than he is. She has a flaky mother who is a Grateful Dead groupie and drug addict who only drops in occasionally to check on her. The rest of the family consists of a surfer, a Vietnam war deserter, and a midwife. They have neither electricity nor plumbing. They grow their own food and have a couple of nanny goats. Everyone is either a sister/mother or a brother/father. However, not all is idyllic in this paradise. Truth triumphs eventually but there are no harsh recriminations. Forgiveness is at the heart of the story.

The author lives on the central California coast but chose to set her novel closer to us in Freestone! The characters often times need to go into town for supplies, into Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. Harmony and Blue like to scamper and hike the hills and dunes of Bodega Bay. The author chose this area because of its reputation as a sanctuary for progressive thinking and because it has become the last resting place for many wilted flower children.

Elwood was a massage therapist and a single mother when she went back to college and became aware of many people who suffer through dialysis because they have failing kidneys. She was actually motivated to donate one of her own to a veritable stranger. At first, she kept this ultimate gift quiet but then she decided to write about it probably because she thought it might inspire others. That book is called Lost in Transplantation, a great title! Elwood is also available as a motivational speaker. She did a book talk for Clover Blue at Copperfield's in Sebastopol in August. I am so sorry I missed it because if she speaks the way she writes it would have been captivating.

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