Book Review - Peppermint Park

Peppermint Park - Stephanie Harte

I really enjoyed Peppermint Park. Initially, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be much more than I imagined it would be.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel where the characters spend most of their time based at a hippie commune, so it was an interesting experience for me. I have a little bit of hippie in me, and love the idea of self-sufficiency and living off the land, so loved the idea of them growing all their own fruit and veg, and trading goods at the local shop, rather than using money. I also slept really well each night after reading this. Perhaps it was the thought of all the drugs. I felt chilled out, ha ha.

Ignoring one initial incident, this story started out rather funny and light-hearted. I found myself joining in, and laughing along with the characters over things such as farting in a sleeping bag, or the disgustingness of nettle tea, yuck! By half way, I was surprised how different my emotions about the book had become. The dream-like perfection of the hippie commune started to show cracks. Why are humans so good at self-destruction? So many of us seem incapable of being grateful for what we have. We always want more, and even when we get more, that still isn’t enough.

Sometimes I was frustrated by one character’s lack of strength to do what was best for her, but I also reminded myself, that I’m 38, and when I was in my late teens to early 20s, I wasn’t the person I am now. Perhaps I would have acted in the same way she did, when I was her age.

This story is full of a great mix of wonderful characters, and covers family, friendship, adventure, love, jealousy, motherhood, loss and hope.

I felt such heartache late on in the story, and even had tears in my eyes near the end. I would never have guessed the ending, but I did like the way the story concluded.

I would like to thank the author for a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.