Saturday, June 12, 2010

Restoring Harmony


     Never has a book  made me want to pull up my American roots and transplant myself in Canada.  Restoring Harmony did!  Anthony, a Canadian, has done an amazing job of highlighting the U.S.'s decline against the more agrarian and successful Canadian landscape.   This is a dystopian novel for a middle grade audience and a glimpse into a future that I can imagine much more readily than the worlds created in Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games or Michael Grant's Gone series, both more shocking and scary societys. 


     Molly  McClure lives with her family on a secluded Canadian island where they grow their own food, rely on solar panels for energy, and  horse-drawn wagons and boats for transportation.  It's a simple life with a happy family where Molly begins her days playing fiddle on the front porch. Through a cyberspeak conversation (skype-like) Molly's mom, who happens to be pregnant, has reasons to believe her own mother may have died.  Molly's dad and siblings hold a meeting in the barn and elect her to be the one to travel to Oregon and bring her grandfather back to the safety of the island.  Along her travels she meets a cast of very interesting and likable characters, including a  handsome ruffian nicknamed Spill.

My thoughts:

     Reading the inside jacket cover of this book inticed me so much I read it within days of opening the envelope it came in.  I loved how the title and the cover illustration matched so well.  I was drawn to Molly's character and the way she handles her adventurous trip to the states after the Collapse of  2031.  I love having a book in my hand that keeps me reading and commenting (out loud) as I progress.  While the U.S. of 2041 is not in great shape (I loved how train travel was slow and erratic but really the only means to get anywhere) it still has vestiges of community.  It shows, without being overly didactic, how important simple skills might be: like tending your own garden.

    Molly's ability to adapt, improvise and think made her a true heroine of the future and in this way she did remind me of the great Katniss (The Hunger Games).  I loved how it dealt with real problems of today-oil is gone, the infrastructure is crumbling and big cities are in greater trouble than small communities.  Even though there are easy solutions within the story structure I think Anthony raises very real issues born from our own self-centered, enviormentally -abusive ways.  Our dependence on  crude oil will eventually get the better of  us.  I hope Anthony has a sequel in the works so I can read more about Molly and her extended family.

5/5 stars
highly recommended
for middle grade and above

Other reviews to enjoy:
Jen of Devourer of Books
S. Krishna's Books
Jessica at Shut Up!  I'm reading
***I won this book in a giveaway hosted by Joelle Anthony at The Debutante Ball. Thank you, Joelle, for personally signing and sending my copy!  I'm glad to have my own copy because I think I'll  reread this one, even though I'm not a rereader.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you liked this one so much. I've been reading several reviews of it recently and ordered it for myself. Looking forward to reading it soon. I think the cover is really nice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking and great review...I thought even though aimed at a younger audience it was a very good read.

nomadreader said...

I really enjoyed this one too!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

This really sounds like a worthwhile read. Glad u enjoyed it so much.