Helen Zuman was a believer. She believed in the perfectibility of community, in the ability of young dreamers to transform
traditional sexual norms by getting back to the land. That Zendik Farm was ultimately exposed as a tyranny built on lies does not destroy the idealism of Zuman’s original impulses; she holds up her youthful self alongside her wiser older self, without useless moralizing, and thereby shows respect for the young people drawn to this cult, while shedding light on the long history of American pastoral communal experiments. She does all this with restraint and wit, and a deft instinct for entertaining incident and character. A page-turner, with purpose!