Book Review | Fairyland : a memoir of my father by Alysia Abbott

book cover Fairyland : a memoir of my father by Alysia AbbottWhile scouring the library for new treasures I found this gem: Fairyland : a memoir of my father. Having previously resided in the Haight neighborhood of San Francisco, my partner took an immediate interest in the novel and finished it in less than 36 hours. He claimed he was “unable to put it down” to which I can attest as he read between Superbowl plays.

Abbott’s memoir describes from her point of view the life of her father – a bisexual Bohemian writer – as she grew up with him in 70’s and 80’s San Francisco. It provides a refreshing view of how a single father (after the mother’s death) and his daughter were able to get by with little money and enjoy each other’s company. Parenting issues are touched on and the reader may question what happened to simple times when raising a child did not revolve around piano lessons, soccer practice and endless taxying to play-dates. As the book’s blurb mentions, AIDS does make an appearance and truly impacts the community.

The book was linear and easy to follow with no major stylistic issues. It is recommended for those interested in the Bohemian lifestyle in San Francisco in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, residents of the Haight, and those wanting to read about a single gay parent during that time period. Various references are made to San Francisco landmarks, cafes and restaurants, streets and public transit (MUNI). Published in summer of 2013, Fairyland should be available at a library near you.

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About amy de simone
Amy is an active volunteer, traveler and photographer. She is interested in art, libraries, museums and nonprofits. She holds an M.A. in Library & Information Studies and a B.A. in Italian Language & Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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