WEB OF TYRANNY
by Laurel Rain Snow
As a child, Meg Graham does not understand her father’s cold, overly harsh attitude toward her and wants nothing more than to escape from her strict fundamentalist upbringing. College offers her the chance but Meg ends up in a similar situation when she marries a man who is controlling, overly critical and manipulative. Meg finds the strength to leave the marriage with her toddler son in tow and begins life anew as a social worker, subsequently changing her name to Lainey. She joins the protest movement and through a feminist group meets supportive women, enjoying the freestyle life of San Francisco during the ‘60s, experimenting with sex and drugs. Ultimately, Meg/Lainey questions her problems with intimacy, which she can only overcome via the use of alcohol, and enters treatment. Through therapy, she confronts the demons of her past and allows her repressed memories to emerge, learning why she continues to sabotage her own happiness.
With great skill, Snow captures the essence of the ‘60s via her depiction of that era’s fashions, vernacular, sexual mores, protests against the Viet Nam War, and women’s efforts for egalitarianism through the feminist movement. Although two separate subplots at times threaten to overpower Meg’s story, this does not happen, and the unveiling of the relationship between Rainbow and Natasha enhances more than takes away from the plot. Young adults of today would be well-advised to read this novel if only to get a good grasp of what life was like for women during this fascinating, history-changing time period.