Unfortunately for Lauren and her brother, their father hires a nanny with a big problem. Crazy and violent, she swings between spoiling them and beating them senseless. Or worse.
Isolated in suburbia, Lauren spend seven years in a scary world where rules can change anytime, violence may flare in an instant or erupt after days of angry rumbling, and the truth is whatever an angry glance says it is. The rest of the world isn't doing much better: the president's shot, the Civil Rights movement shakes the country. As students start protesting the war in Vietnam, Lauren, now a teenager, escapes at last to an idyllic boarding school in Vermont. And that’s when the trouble starts…
A riveting first-person account of growing up alone and strange, Riding the Cyclone careens like the eponymous Coney Island roller coaster from sardonic wisecracks to gut-wrenching brutality as it tells the story of a young girl’s struggle to grow up in a storm.
"A skillful writer, Wiener artfully weaves the raw emotion of her childhood suffering with the cultural experience of the United States during the 1960s and ’70s. The music and political events of the time create a strong backdrop framing Wiener’s memories and feelings without overpowering the private nature of her story.
Intimate and absorbing, Wiener’s tale successfully captures the feelings of a spirited yet lost young child growing up in a tumultuous period in American history.” — Kirkus Reviews
"…one of those books you read with growing fascination….a spell-binding story." — Gift From Within
Heartwarming video of family dysfunction
— GM, Philadelphia, PA
— JLF, Grantham, NH
What a page-turner! An amazing journey through a world very alien to me. — KB, Portland, OR
— MB, Washington, DC
— CB, Beaverton, OR
Disturbing, moving, and humorous, it throws one through life's cyclone.
— PG, San Francisco, CA
… sparsely written but clear in its ability to plumb adolescent emotions and desires.
— CC, Sweet Briar, VA
… the roller coaster analogy is an apt one.
— MW, Portland, OR
— SM, Portland, OR
GREAT. Had trouble putting it done. — NB, Portland, OR
— PW, Ann Arbor, MI
— CG, Portland, OR
— YK, Loveland, OH
— SH, Hudson River Valley, NY
— AW, Tigard, OR
— JF, Dartmouth, NH
— EV, Valley Cottage, NY
terribly depressing — my Aunt "Alma"