"Instantly captivating, heartbreaking, inspiring...[An] almost-too-crazy-to-be-true story. This book is nothing short of remarkable."
—Elle Magazine, "Readers' Pick"
"[A] beautiful, powerful memoir. This assured debut is reminiscent of David Sedaris's and Augusten Burroughs's best work: introspective, hilarious, and heartbreaking."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"With engaging story after story and a healthy dose of narrative tension throughout, Safran all but turns the pages for you."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"An enthusiastic, bounding picaresque...Safran is funny, engaging and a great storyteller."
—Jewish Daily Forward
"Poetic, and compelling...In this important book, Safran offers up the wounds of a flower child, and every frayed petal is astonishingly beautiful."
"A remarkable account of survival despite the odds."
"Joshua Safran's Free Spirit provides a mesmerizing coming-of-age story for one of the next generation's most inspired spiritual progressives."—Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun, and Chair, The Network of Spiritual Progressives
"Free Spirit is a stranger-than-fiction look at an absolutely fascinating childhood."—Sam Apple, author of Schlepping Through the Alps
"Haunting and beautifully written, Free Spirit draws you into the gritty, white-knuckle ride that was Joshua Safran's childhood. Spellbinding. A must-read."—Liz Murray, author of the New York Times bestseller Breaking Night
"Rich in detail, humor, and compassion, Free Spirit is an eloquent coming-of-age story about a mother's well-intentioned, but flawed, search for utopia and the impact her chaotic journey had on her son. Thankfully, Joshua Safran emerges from his impoverished, rootless childhood resilient, resourceful, and wise. A transformative book."—Mira Bartók, author of National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Memory Palace
"Some writers search everywhere for a great story, and others have a great story happen to them. Joshua Safran's tale of his upbringing among radicals, revolutionaries, and renegades is equal parts hilarious and touching. Strap yourself into the green bus for a whirlwind tour of the American underground through the eyes of an impressionable young storyteller-to-be."—Thomas Mullen, author of The Last Town on Earth