Year 13 Theme text - Communes

A short history of paradise by Norman Bilborough - hippie commune

Melody Carlson by Looking for Cassandra Jane by Melody Carlson. This is set during the 60’s where a young girl from a dysfunctional family get hooked into a religious/hippie commune.

A Whistling Woman by A S Byatt. It follows the rise and disintegration of a sort of Green/Gnostic sect in Yorkshire, indirectly contrasted with a nearby university community. It’s good for the topic because it shows the real lure of an alternative lifestyle and the laudable reasons different people have for choosing one, but it also looks at the dark side that can develop when people simply bring existing problems into a new setting without actually acknowledging them. The fourth in a series (The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life and Babel Tower, which would also link into this topic .For mature readers)

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Attwood.

Aquarius My Ohu Year: the Diary of Starshine Penney, 1975 by Jill Brasell, Scholastic, 2006.

Ellie and the Shadow Man by Maurice Gee, 2000. A sequel of sorts to ‘Hostel Girl,’ 1999) which describes life on a Nelson commune. A religious community with a very different but equally alternative lifestyle is also sketched in.

I Am Not Esther by Fleur Beale, Longacre, 1998. This is a look at a grimmer form of communal life based on belief.