Part dystopian future, part teenage love story, part philosophical debate on whether a man’s reach should or should not exceed his grasp and what either might mean to the larger community of mankind (but don’t let that scare you), told through a clever replotting of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
Well into a post-apocalyptic future Earth history, Luddite Elliot refuses to run away with Post Kai, choosing to sacrifice her own happiness to ensure the survival of the Reduced workers on her family estate. Four years later Kai returns triumphant, rich and successful beyond their wildest youthful dreams. Elliot still loves him, he appears to hate her, and his intelligent, able Post companions only emphasize the differences between his life and hers, spent everlastingly cleaning up after her spoiled sister, her cruel father and her wicked cousin.
Horror and Jane don’t pass the smell test for me, but science fiction and Jane sure did. I especially enjoyed that Anne — sorry, Elliot — got to have a job and to do it well.
Note: My book club is going to be reading and discussing this book together with Austen’s Persuasion later this year.