"I’ve read Laura’s novel Lemonade Farm and can attest to its power. It evokes the 1970s in a painfully accurate way, and is beautifully written. She manages a wide cast of characters and somehow paints adults, teenagers and children with equal skill without ever condescending to any of them. Her skill at characterization and turns of phrase, coupled with a great sense of place, makes this a heck of a novel."
Tall and skinny Ariel is an awkward, observant, insecure and insightful 12-year-old who feels every one of her growing pains. It's 1976 and Ariel's parents have split, as have all of the neighboring families in her suburban town. The broken bits of these families move into a 200-year-old farmhouse deep in rural Maryland and begin to form a new family.
As the grown-ups begin dating and playing with their new freedom, the children are often left to their own devices - sometimes with heartbreaking results. Every family is a world unto itself, but the longer the Lemons live at the farm, the more they become a semi-utopic oddity in post-Vietnam, bicentennial times.
What starts as a coming-of-age odyssey of a hyper-aware preteen evolves into the story of an era and the evolution of the American family. As families today continue to disintegrate and reintegrate, Lemonade Farm serves as a highly relevant, humorous and endearing story of loss and renewal.
Based in part on her own childhood memories, Laura did live in a "collective" home during the "post-Vietnam, bicentennial times."