Delightful and dystopian

lighthouse  Here is  story of the future (once again) and this time the world’s population has gone crazy!  Water & food is scarce, there are no borders, and the “government’ controls all. The book follows a young girl who starts the story as Raisa.   Raisa is abandoned by her parents in a crowded city when she is 4 years old.  She is picked up and placed in an orphanage and her name is changed to Nadia.   The “government agency” controls the general population through the television, Big Radio and officers.   Fortunately, for Nadia….she has become temporarily blind and cannot watch the television, but she can hear it.  She quickly learns about a wonderful place called Lighthouse Island,  It is place abundant with water.    Nadia makes it her goal to get to this place no matter what.  She is quite clever and cunning….a great female character.  We see her grow up and plan her escape.   Nadia cons her way into the hotel where she finds water in the form of showers, swimming pool and to drink.  She also finds a rare cat….most animals have been killed off for food.  She finds refuge on the roof.  She prefers to be alone and finds comfort at looking in the night sky…dreaming of Lighthouse Island.  This is when James enters.  He is a man of important position and works for the “government”.  However, he is secretly creating maps…something that has been long gone and goes against the agency.  James now finds himself in a wheelchair due to an accident when he meets Nadia.  He does not let on to just how powerful he is….he enjoys her company and the two of them spend the night talking and talking.  A bond forms and James becomes her ally.

This begins a mutual and romantic quest for the two of them to escape the crowded, controlling city and find a place to live freely.

I read this book quickly….it moved fast.  I did have to stop and slow down a few times since all the dialogue was written without quotes….it took a few chapters to adapt, but I did quite well…thank you.  The story was original and descriptive.  I could picture the cities and the people….in my head it was all gray and dreary.  It is a world where technology has failed and there is no longer a “cloud”or anytime of technology as we know it.  Nadia finds remnants of paper books and devours them.  A girl I could relate.  Fun has been sucked out of everything.  No one trusts anyone.  The world has failed its people.  Yet, there is hope within the hearts and souls of James and Nadia.

I will be looking for more books by Paulette Jiles.


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