Starbird Murphy and the World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock
Posted by Caitie F on June 10, 2014
Summary from pub:
In her sixteen years of life, Starbird has never touched a dollar bill. She’s never been in a car. She’s never used a cell phone. That’s because Starbird has always lived on the Free Family Farm, a commune in the woods of Washington State. But all that is about to change. When Starbird gets her “Calling” to be a waitress at the Free Family’s restaurant in Seattle, she decides to leave behind the only home she’s ever known.
Nothing could have prepared Starbird for the World Outside, or for what it would teach her about the Family—and herself.
Who can resist a novel about a cult, especially when it is a YA novel? Not me! I was hooked the second I read the description.
And I could not put this book down. I have no idea why, but I have a fascination with cults, especially when the story centers around someone who doesn’t realize that they are in one. So there was very little the author had to do to get me interested.
Yet it delivered on every level. There were great characters. Starbid was smart, kind and optimistic. She was also very naive, but why wouldn’t she be? She didn’t know anything other than what she grew up with. She is so loving and caring towards everyone that the culture shock when she gets outside The Family is very shocking. Yet all of the things she was taught in her life help her.
She isn’t the only great character. I loved everyone in the Seattle branch of The Family and thought her outside friends and teachers were interesting too. As you read about the leader, Earth, you can see why people who had hard times would be drawn to him so much. He helped a lot of people, he just has some flaws too.
The romance(s) really stood out too. Relationships developed naturally, people started off as friends and then there was something there that wasn’t there before (did you sing as you read that? I did as I typed it)..
This is a great contemporary fiction. If you have any interest at all in cults or the shock of leaving everything you know behind, check out this book!