As a young woman in the 1980's, Julia became entangled with the emerging punk scene in Minneapolis - in particular with the band Nobody's fool - until a mysterious and unspeakable catastrophe delivers her to a husband and the suburbs. Battered by mental llness, haunted by memories and grief that stretching back to her childhood, she is unable to put her past behind her - or refrain from making her daughter Cheryl into a vessel for her own hopes and fears.
So it comes as little surprise when 16 year-old Cheryl packs a bag and runs away. Exactly where is anyone's guess, though as Julia envisions her daughter's every move from the house through the city's outskirts and into the city - she relives her own bygone experiences in the very same place, where the radical fringe converge. Here amidst a group of would-be revolutuionaries squatting in the Sabotage Caf�, Cheryl re-enacts her mothers troubled coming-of-age, initiated as she is into a sullied melange of drugs, awkward sex, glib anarchy and acts of vandalism and violence that throw into question everything that she, in her mothers mind's eye, has run from and wishes to become.
A chilling, mesmerizing portrait of todays innocents burdened with the fallout of their parent's rebellion in addition to their own, The Sabotage Cafe is an unforgettable tour de force of insight and compassion, a brilliant first novel by a writer in full, ambitious command of his craft.