A haunting novel about three children who are raised to contribute their lives to a society where they have no rights, no choices and no future. The story moves back in time to their boarding school days, through their adolescence and into early their early adult lives as they struggle to make sense of their feelings, their fate and their relationship with one another. Childhood Kathy, watches helplessly as vivacious Ruth steals her friend Tommy out from under her nose. The adult Kathy is reunited with these friends as they complete their societal role and come to understand the meaning of loss and duty.
What the Armchair Critics Thought:
The book (and film) created a great deal of debate around why the central characters did not try to escape their fate. Were the passive and accepting adolescents a warning about our complacency to the erosion of basic rights and freedoms in the name of security? How do our memories and the people we love shape us into the people we become? Although we all agreed it was beautifully written, some found the pace of the novel too slow. The science fiction premise and the storytelling were most certainly sacrificed to the careful construction of the poignant atmosphere.