The Age of Consent, by Geoffrey Wolff
240 pages, Paperback
From Library Journal
In her 15th summer, Maisie Jenks suddenly leaps from a rocky ledge during the family’s Independence Day picnic, critically injuring herself and forever altering her family’s lives. After she recovers, she will not reveal her motives, leaving her younger brother, Ted, to spend the next ten years struggling to make sense of her act. His search for understanding leads him to discover dark, unsuspected secrets about his family; Doc Halliday, an admired family friend; and Blackberry Hill, their utopian, counter cultural community. Although exploring issues of incest and sexual abuse, Wolff treats these potentially sensational topics in a sensitive, low-key manner in this novel about the underside of idealism and the damage done when freedom becomes license. For most ublic library collections.
I was drawn in by this book if a little frustrated. I of course wanted to know the mystery behind Maisie taking a dive in the lake. The story was deeply connected with that of her parents, and the unfolding of the story of the parents was interesting as they meet and follow the enigmatic Doc Halliday in college and go on to center their lives around him. Halliday suggests that they start a commune of sorts in Upstate New York, and gets away with all manner of nonsense in seemingly every area of their lives. I think what pushed this book into the realm of being forgettable is that it becomes unrealistic to me after awhile that all the family was at the complete mercy of one man and that noone came to their senses before they were able to avert tragedy. By the end I was reading only to see how it was all going to come to an end.
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