It's 1969, the summer of Woodstock and the moon landing, but it’s no Summer of Love for adoptee Jordan May March, obsessed with chum charts, her corrective shoes, Hurricane Hazel and Yogi, the caged bear up the road. With its soundtrack of sixties pop songs, swamp creatures, motor boats and the rapid-fire punning of the family's Marchspeak, this novel will take you to a time and place that was never as idyllic as it seemed.
In the summer of 69, Jordan May March, a young disabled teenager, feels like an outcast among her extended adoptive family. She spends her time studying Top 40 radio and imagining scenarios for her conception and birth involving parents she'll never know. She feels a kinship with a trained bear named Yogi, kept in a cage by a cruel neighbor, and scribbles diary entries about being born into Little Women's March kin, "kidnapped from her bassinet by Southern sympathizers," or becoming the bastard child of John F. Kennedy. These entries affectively reveal a desperately sad young woman seeking her creation story and a sense of belonging. Palmer riddles her novel with colloquialisms the narrator calls "Marchspeak," such as "we knew which side our bread was buttered on and who held the knife," and paints a compelling, at times scattered tale of Jordan's destiny to be "Yogi's savior and the agent... of her demise." She deftly captures the unraveling of a young girl's already fragile psyche, arriving at a late-book reveal that will send some readers running back to page one.