Apr 12, 2010

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony

Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony is set to be released May 13, 2010 by Putnam Juvenile and was provided by Around the World Tours.

Love can drive people to do many things. It drove Molly McClure from her tiny island home in Canada all the way to Gresham, Oregon in search of her grandparents. This included crossing the Canadian/US border underage and illegally, having to sell whiskey on the black market to raise the funds to come home, and fighting the Organization for survival. But let's start at the beginning.

After the Collapse, when the oil dried up and became strictly government property, and with most major cities now in tatters, Molly and her family get along as well as can be expected on an island in Canada. They farm and raise livestock that they both eat and sell for profit. The main way of communicating with the mainland is through electronic correspondence like CyberSpeak and e-mail. Snail mail still runs, but it's slower than ever. It's through this last form that the McClure family learns that Molly's grandmother has had a stroke and is in the hospital. When they finally got through to the hospital to find out if she's okay, the connection is lost and unable to be found again. Molly's heavily pregnant mother goes into to shock at the non-information surrounding her own mother's life and falls into bed-rest.

It is decided that Molly must cross the border illegally and retrieve, at the very least, her doctor of a grandfather and her grandmother, should she still be living. Along the way she meets a couple of very kind people who help her in their own special way to keep her out of trouble in, what is to her, a foreign country. Molly finally arrives at her destination, barefoot, penniless, and exhausted. While she is thrilled to discover that her grandmother lives, if a little off due to her condition, she is soon dismayed to find her grandparents wasting away with no money and very little food. But that's not all, her grandfather staunchly refuses to go back to Canada with Molly as it's too dangerous for them to travel with the grandmother and there is no money.

Molly has to decide whether she's going to let them stay in her grandparents' home and possible die of starvation or if she's going to make something happen. With the help of a sometimes shady, but quite dependable local guy named Spill, and a no-good neighbor, Doug, with two helpful children and a garden, Molly thinks she has a chance at saving all of her family. That is if the Organization doesn't decide to step in her way.

This dystopian novel was quite fascinating. I really felt like I was caught up in the action with Molly and kind of confused about which decision would be best for everyone involved. Molly is a bright, capable young girl, who is still growing into her own skin. While very unsure of the rules, regulations, and protocols she still managed to wiggle her way through tough situations and make the best out of everything. I wouldn't necessarily call her an optimist, but I will say she was persistent in her demands and actions. Spill was intriguing to me. I found his appearances in the story a bit flustered and hap-hazard, but I think that without him, nothing could have happened. While I understood that he was ingrained with the Organization, everything seemed to happen all too easily for him.

Heck, the storyline in general was a little to neatly wrapped. There was no major conflict to pique my interest. What little action there was tended to finish up quickly and a little too neatly. I also found that people bended to other people's wills far too easily for my tastes. If someone suggested an idea, it was usually followed with very little scrutiny. I wasn't expecting major, in depth analysis, but some kind of "hang on a second, how're we going to do that?" would have made a little more sense.

I'm not saying this is a bad novel, I'm just saying it was a little rough to get through. There were parts where I struggled with it, but in the end I liked it well enough. I could take it or leave it, I didn't really gain too much from it. Although I will have to say it was one of the most believable dystopic futures I have ever seen laid out.

1 comment:

swiggett said...

I love dystopian novels, and this one sounds like it wouldn't disappoint. Thanks!