The Anarchist Thing to Do



The Anarchist Thing to Do, by Michael Raship

Genre: Contemporary fiction; Coming of age

In 1975, six-year-old Skye moves with her family from a hippie commune in the Vermont woods to the suburbs of New York. Skye’s parents are anarchists, the family is an anarchist family, and their reasons for the move, like their reasons for everything else, are political. They are returning to mainstream America to spread the word there about their homemade version of anarchism. As a child growing up within the small happy world of her family, Skye never questions that her parents are heroes whose political beliefs are going to spark a revolution.

But when Skye becomes a teenager, in the Reagan eighties, she comes face to face with some unpleasant facts: her parents are the town laughingstock, and the anarchist revolution to which they have dedicated their lives is never going to happen. Although even Skye has to admit that some of her parents’ New Agey ideas are pretty kooky, she tries to remain true to her family’s high ideals as she takes the first steps towards finding a place for herself in the world outside her family. But when her parents suddenly break off contact with the family doctor and become fanatical converts to a belief in the healing power of the mind, Skye suspects that her mother is seriously ill and is rejecting the conventional medical treatment that her life depends on.


“An accomplished, delightful and engrossing book, full of gentle comedy, sadness and hope” — Jack Messenger, Feed the Monkey

“I cannot fully express how much I fell in love with this book as I continued to read it…I’ve read very few books that have been such a balanced blend of tragic and uplifting” — Tropical Mary, Literary Homicide