An Award-Winning Novel
It’s Berkeley in the 1960s, and Martha Goldenthal’s home life is a cauldron of kooky ideas, impossible demands, and explosive physical violence. Her father, Jules, is an iconoclast who hates academia and can’t control his fists. Her mother, Willa, has made a career out of victimhood. Meanwhile, Jules’s classical record store, located directly across the street from the U.C. Berkeley campus, is ground zero for riots and tear gas. When family circumstances change and sixteen year-old Martha winds up in the care of the broke and directionless Jules, it’s a bumpy ride. Can she stand up to her father to do the one thing she knows she must—go to college? With its running “soundtrack” of classical recordings and rock music and its vivid scenes of Berkeley at its most turbulent, Shrug is the absorbing, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting story of one young woman’s journey toward independence.