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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Goodbye Woodstock: The Last Reunion by M.H. Sullivan revolves around the Love & Peace Commune in the Oregon forest, where preparations for their annual Woodstock Reunion are underway. Those connected to the commune and the event are all going through personal difficulties. Ceil and Sky are waiting for test results; Kate has a troubling dream of a disaster on the horizon; and Ceil worries about her brother Spencer's interest in commune land as her mother suffers from dementia. Many commune members are able to reach heightened states of consciousness, accessing a timestream, flight, and even shape-shifting. More arrivals come for the Woodstock Reunion as the threat of a natural disaster gets stronger, and a death that puts the commune in danger heightens the stakes.
As a woman who was born and raised in San Francisco, I'm acutely familiar with the hippie lifestyle, spiritual connectivity, and gorgeous Redwoods trees that line the Pacific Coast and are central to Goodbye Woodstock by M.H. Sullivan. I was born a decade after Woodstock, but I adore the genuine love those who attended share, and Sullivan's characters bring its still-resonating spirit back to life. The reunion itself is only part of the story. Woodstock brings the group together, but it is the forest commune that binds them to the land and to one another. The music is a bonus. I loved that each character has their own full backstory, and Sullivan develops them wonderfully. The esoteric scenes come across as authentic and moving, and that makes the fear of impending danger connect to a reader on another level. Overall, this is a well-written and absorbing novel, and I have no doubt it will be received with love by those who read it.