In A Time to Cast Away Stones, Elise Frances Miller catapults the late 1960s beyond media stereotypes that have inflamed opinions of the era for decades. This powerful novel tells the story of Janet Magill, a shy, straight-arrow Berkeley freshman with com-pelling reasons to join the antiwar movement. Janet’s brother has been shipped off to Vietnam, and Aaron Becker, her childhood sweetheart, might well be next. When Janet’s parents banish her from Berkeley to what they expect will be a safe, idyllic springtime in Paris, she runs headlong into the 1968 May Revolution and along the way, falls in love with a secretive Czech dissident.
The story brings to life the historical “Events of May,” in which over ten million French citizens were involved in the only student-worker-bourgeois alliance and true “revolution” that a Western, capitalist democracy had ever experienced. Far from the distant and haunting City of Light, Aaron makes plans to evade the draft and join her. He follows Janet’s journey through an embattled correspondence, witnesses the wrenching exploration of her capacity for love, respon-sibility and sacrifice, then loses contact as her "safe" year abroad turns into a dangerous coming of age.