Review: A Freewheelin’ Time, by Suze Rotolo

It was one of the iconic images of the early 1960s: a young Bob Dylan walking down a snow-covered street in Manhattan, looking down, while a young woman clutching his left arm walks with him, facing the camera, a knowing smile on her face.

The photo appears on the cover of Dylan’s second, breakthrough album, and the woman in the picture is Suze Rotolo.

Rotolo was a 17 year old girl when she met Dylan, who was three years older, and the time she spent with him was the time he made the transition from unknown folk singer to superstar.

This could have been a book only about Dylan, and a lot of it is, but it’s also Rotolo’s own story, a story of love and frustration and betrayal, and of a young woman’s coming of age in Greenwich Village in the 1960s.

Though the chronology can be a bit confusing, the story is actually quite well told.

Sadly, Rotolo passed away just two years after writing the book.