Welcome to another two day author event! (WOW, two in two weeks!) Today I'm reviewing Romance Author Ilona Fridl's newest, Iris Rainbow, and tomorrow Illona answers my TEN QUESTIONS!
Rebellious teen Teri Darden comes of age in the Summer of Love, 1967, falling hard for Tim Olson, who plays bass guitar in a soon-to-be-famous rock band called Virgin Ram. When the band goes on a lengthy tour, Tim and Teri not only lose touch with each other but the lies of his spiteful ex-girlfriend push Teri into the dark side of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll in the San Francisco of the 1960s. As his year-long tour comes to a close, Tim realizes how much he has missed Teri, but his efforts to find her again are futile. He goes from one bad marriage to another yet is always searching for Teri, until they meet again thirty years later. Neither could quite forget the other, but can they rekindle what was lost?
Okay, so that's the back page blurb. Now, here's that I think: Iris Rainbow is a non stop 30 year epic of heartbreak, hope, addiction, peace, despair, disappointment, and love. Author Ilona Fridl takes us on a breathtaking roller coaster of a book that moves forward, forward, forward, without ever losing touch with the past. I read this in one sitting. I'm not even kidding. Fridl does in Iris Rainbow what few authors are able to do: Make a can't-put-it-down-for-a second page turner that spans three decades. I don't know how she did it, but she did it and I love it!
I was not part of the 1960's counter culture. I was a tiny bit too young for that sort of thing and my parents were firmly ensconced grown ups in Minnesota during the Summer of Love. But Fridl's life experiences and exhaustive research give the book so much realism, I feel like I'm there, I'm in it. I can almost smell the incense and peppermint! Teri Darden could be one of the most compelling, realistic, heartfelt characters I've read in quite some time. Readers can and will identify with her struggles from start to finish.
What is really interesting about Iris Rainbow is the technology...or lack thereof. In today's world of iPhones and texts and emails and voicemails and free long distance, we have no idea what it really means to be separated from someone no matter how far away they are. One of the key points to the book is how that lack of today's technology came between Teri and Tim Olson, her rock star lover. The themes of love and separation and heartache are universal, but Iris Rainbow kicks it up several notches by showing us just how big the world really was in 1967.
Set aside an afternoon, because that's all you're going to need. This is a fast read and a roller coaster of a ride. So worth it!