Mine by Robert McCammon

No Series


Adrift in the 1980s and slowly losing her mind, a heavily armed former '60s radical kidnaps a baby with the hope, deluded as it may be, of returning her life to simpler times. The child's mother, though, isn't about to take it lying down and, along with a tracker, begins a cross-country chase to get her child back.

“Rain fell on the roofs of the just and the unjust, the saints and the sinners, those who knew peace and those in torment, and tomorrow began at a dark hour.”

I had mixed feelings about this one. Since it was a Robert McCammon, it was written well, and the story leads the reader through a bizarre mix of betrayal, insanity, murder and kidnapping. The story is split into two viewpoints - an unstable woman consumed with the past clashes with a woman whose world has been shaken by personal betrayal and a new baby.

"Mary the Terror" isn't likeable but she's realistically written. There's a disturbing opening scene of the novel showing how twisted her mind really is and it doesn't improve from there. The author goes into details showing how grim her life is down to the details of the nasty way she lives, how she struggles to take care of herself, and her reliance on the age-old acid trips. Plenty of flashbacks explain how she came to stay the same person and how twisted their little group of 60's bandits were.

Laura's viewpoint is just okay. She was more interesting during the chase scenes in the second half, but for the first part she kind of lagged. I did sympathize with her during the scenes where she's trying to cope with the realization her daughter has been kidnapped and people are losing patience. Reminded me of how insensitive people can be because they feel uncomfortable dealing with other people's pain and loss.

I haven't read a novel with this angle before. McCammon shows a somewhat forgotten period of rebel's lives where we tend to idealize the freedom spirit feel. Instead he shows a dangerous group that felt it was their job to take down most of society and it was an "us against them" mentality. Hyped by drugs, acid and alcohol of course. The Hippie lead was a cultish figure that bent the lives of those already unstable and desperate.

The theme was intriguing, the characters well developed, but kidnapping stories aren't my bag. This is much more, but still the story produced inconsistent steam with its pacing. Flashbacks were important to the storyline but I grew impatient. The start was slow and it took me awhile to care about the characters and what they were up to - it took a considerable time to begin the main action of the book.

   Book Quotes:

The sixties were dead. The survivors limped on, growing suits and neckties and potbellies, going bald and telling their children not to listen to that satanic heavy metal. The clock of the Age of Aquarius had turned, hippies and yippies had become preppies and yuppies. The Chicago Seven were old men. The Black Panthers had turned gray. The Grateful Dead were on MTV, and the Airplane had become a Top-40 Starship.

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