D’Arcy Fallon offers an irreverent, fly-on-the-wall view of the Lighthouse Ranch, a Christian commune she called home for three years in the mid-1970s. At eighteen years old, when life’s questions overwhelmed her and reconciling her family past with her future seemed impossible, she accidentally came upon the ranch during a hitchhike gone awry. Perched on a windswept bluff in Loleta, a dozen miles from anywhere in northern California, this community of lost and found twenty-somethings lured her in with promises of abounding love, spiritual serenity, and a hardy, pioneer existence. What she didn’t count on was the fog. After living communally with more than a dozen “sisters,” marrying before she was ready, and doing domestic chores to keep the ranch afloat, Fallon’s life and religious idealism begin to unravel. Through a series of harrowing and heartbreaking decisions, she begins the process that will lead her away from the ranch and into her own life one step at a time.
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Part adventure story, part cautionary tale, So Late, So Soon explores the boundaries between selflessness and having no sense of self; between needing and wanting; between the sacred and the profane. Sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious, Fallon’s account of her young life in a California Christian commune engagingly illustrates the complexities of desire and the deeply-rooted longing we all feel to be taken in, accepted, and loved. Shame, lust, compassion, and enlightenment – all find their place in Fallon’s honest retelling of her quest for community.
- Kim Barnes
- Author of Finding Caruso
How did a smart and sassy young woman end up living on the land in pure seventies style with a group of people who work as Donut Brothers going door-to-door selling for Our Father’s Bakery? Fallon takes us into the life of a born-again commune with compassion and humor – and she’s an ungodly good guide.
- Louise Rafkin
- Author of Other People’s Dirt: A Housecleaner’s Curious Adventures
So Late, So Soon is the story of one woman’s misadventures in religion, but in the hands of a writer as skilled and generous as Fallon, it becomes the story of every person’s search for faith – in themselves, in others, and in the crazy ways of the world. A clear-eyed, compassionate, and rewarding book.
- Bernard Cooper
- Author of Maps to Anywhere, winner of the 1991 PEN/Hemingway Award
I found D’Arcy Fallon’s story fascinating, as will anyone who has ever wondered about the role women play in fundamental religious sects. What would draw an otherwise independent woman to a life of menial labor and subservience? Fallon’s answer is this story: both an inside look at 70s commune life and a funny, irreverent, poignant coming of age.
- Judy Blunt
- Author of Breaking Clean
A highly readable memoir. Fallon’s honest tale of her internal and external struggles within the repressed traditional construct of a garden-variety Jesus-Freak Central should be required reading for any young person who has recently “found” the Lord.
So Late, So Soon addresses the problem of spiritual hunger within the human sphere with style and a considerable eye to warts, navels, and better angels. Recommended.
- The Absinthe Literary Review