A dystopian thriller set in the near future. England has been partitioned and London is an oppressive place where poetry has been forced underground, theatres and schools are shut, and women are not allowed to work outside the home. A young couple, Lucas and Angela, try to escape from London - with disastrous consequences. Description from Amazon
What I thought..
I thought this book was one of the strangest, far out, and mind boggling books I have ever read. Not only that, it was the one of the best books I have ever read. It's set in the near-future London where things like art and theater and poetry are a big no no. I wasn't sure what to think at first when I started reading because you are soon tossed in a world where women are not allowed to work outside the house and the only time they can leave the house is when they are visiting relatives. They have to wear veils to cover their faces and bodies, and never allowed out at night. Or where people are taken away from their homes for having certain beliefs and never heard from again.
You meet Lucas, a ministry man who's job is Miracle Inspector. His job is to answer claims of miracles from the Virgin Mary's face in flan or Jesus' face in toast. Lucas comes and investigates and makes it known that no such thing has occurred, and deduces that it was usually done on purpose.
I felt myself having a lot of mixed feeling towards Lucas. I found myself disliking him because he believes the views as far as thinking a woman having a job outside of the house is ludicrous. On the other hand, I realize that it's the life that he was born and raised in. It's something that has been instilled in him since his parents are gone. He holds a prominent place in the ministry and must live by the rules in order to keep him and his wife safe.
Another view point of the story is from the point of view of his wife, Angela, whom I loved and admired since I first “met” her in the book. She dreams of getting away from London and living with Lucas in a place where woman and men are treated equal and they can have and raise a family with better views than where they are now. Instead of being home all day trying to keep herself occupied while Lucas is making a living outside of their home.
Compared to the other couples that you meet in the book I love the relationship between Lucas and Angela. I believe it's apparent from the first time we meet them that they are deeply in love, but also have conflict with each other. She wants a life outside of the home and Lucas above all wants to give that to her at whatever cost.
Their story has ups and too many downs, and at the end I was left wondering what is to come of these two. I like to draw my own conclusions, as many readers do and envision they have the life they each wanted for each other, just the way a miracle should be. Be prepared for British humor at it's best, and a story that will have you believing in miracles even when life isn't so kind.
The grading system I am going to use should be easy enough to understand as I am using the A, B, C, D, F as used in schools.
I give this book a huge A because I think everyone should check this book out! It's filled with adventure and gets you thinking, I can't wait to check out more books from Helen Smith because her writing style is very unique and easy to follow.