I have not read Anne Brashares’ other books, but I have assumed them to be light ‘chick lit’ for teens, so I was not really expecting this time traveling thriller. It was gripping to say the least. Prenna has moved to contemporary upstate New York with her whole community, it takes us a while to work out where she has come from. Ethan has been infatuated with her from the first moment he saw her, appearing naked and silent from the woods.
In fact, she has come from the future where the world has fallen into hunger and poverty and people die from the ‘plague’ or dengue fever spread by mosquitos. She now lives in a community that keeps itself separate from the indigenous population. They are kept in line by strict discipline and fear, which may include murder. Prenna and Ethan meet a stranger who sets them off on a path to destroy the regime and to stop the future taking its course.
Of course there are all sorts of quibbles about whether people form the future can change the course of history and better minds than mine – from Asimov to Michael J Fox – have pondered that one. What we have here is a well written, pacey thriller, with characters we genuinely care about. There are red herrings and twists a plenty to keep you turning the pages.
Some may feel that the ending comes a little easily but it has enough sweet and sour to cloy and it leaves us open for a possible sequel.