For everyone who usually reads my posts you will notice that I have deviated from my usual format. This book just brought up too many topics to cover in my usual Like and dislike format.
Summary- Emmeline lives In a society where Agenda 21 (a real thing) has been taken to the extreme, Emmeline is forced to walk an energy board every day to deserve her nourishment cubes. She is paired with a man (or three) to make babies who will be given to “The Republic” to be raised.
Emmeline was just a baby when her family was moved to the compound. She doesn’t remember life from “before”. She only knows what her mother has told her. And, “The Republic” has taken her too.( end summary).
This book is a dystopian novel. I love dystopian novels. I also like Glenn Beck although I think he can be pretty extreme about stuff. The issues he brings up are important. But, I also think he tends to jump to the worst places things can go.
This book was especially interesting to me because Glenn Beck is Mormon. I was raised Mormon. I am still technically Mormon although I rarely go to church and I don’t currently live up to the lifestyle standards of Mormonism.
Many of the tactics used by “The Republic” are also used by Fundamentalist Mormons in compounds and to a much lesser degree mainstream Mormonism.
Three main things threaten Emmeline’s happiness. Firstly, her mother, father, and first husband are killed by “The Republic”. After she is “paired” with David who she loves it is announced that if they don’t have a baby they will be separated. Emmeline doesn’t want another baby as she has already had her first taken. Emmeline’s daughter is taken away but she manages to see her because she is assigned to work in the place where children are raised. At the end of the novel her daughter is to be moved to a different compound. That is the final straw that makes Emmeline run away (taking her husband and daughter with her).
As a mother, I feel I can say with some authority that threatening a family is the best way to get a reaction. In Agenda 21 the govt threatens to separate husbands and wives if they don’t follow the rules. All children are taken from their parents (this is not as smart a govt move).
I did a lot of research on Fundamentalist Mormonism because at one point my (ex) husband and I questioned whether it was truer to the original faith then modern Mormonism. The Fundamentalist are the polygamists. Mainstream Mormons (like Glenn) do NOT practice polygamy.
In most Fundamentalist compounds the church owns all the land. In Agenda 21 the govt owns all the land.
In Fundamentalist compounds marriages are usually arranged by the church leaders. In Agenda 21 pairings are arranged by the government.
In Fundamentalist compounds a family can be separated and reassigned by the church if they do not follow the rules. If a husband does not fulfill his duties his wives and children will be given to another. If a wife doesn’t fulfill her duties she may be removed from her children. In Mainstream Mormonism there is also a version of this although it is more complicated. Mormons marry for eternity. After death they believe that they will be married if they were sealed. The children they had will still be a part of their family. All family ties and bonds will remain. As long as you are faithful. If you don’t follow the rules of the religion then after death your spouse will be reassigned. Also, if you sin severely enough (I heard of this happening to a woman who spoke out about the inequality of men and women in the church) the church leadership can dissolve your sealing. This means that there is a lot of incentive in the church to follow all the rules. If you are a fundamentalist you will lose your family in this life and the next. If you are a mainstream Mormon it will be in eternity. In agenda 21 the paired couples are told that if they don’t make babies for “The Republic” that their pairing will be dissolved. Also, if one member of the pairing breaks certain rules (this happens to Emmeline’s second husband) the pairing can be dissolved and one spouse moved to another compound.
One of the main themes of Agenda 21 is that he who controls the land controls everything. This is very true. And I would be concerned with any society where people could not own land. Land grows food. He who has the land controls the food. People die without food and so will do what they have to in order to be fed. Period. Land=power. This is one reason that many cults (I just want to clarify and say that I do NOT believe Mormonism is a cult) have land that is owned only by the leaders. Individuals may work it and contribute but they don’t own it.
Because of my background I found this book very interesting. I thought it ended abruptly and could have been a much better novel if it had a more concrete ending. I also thought that the government in the novel made a lot of moves people would not really allow. There is no way that the citizens in the novel can really believe that their situation has improved. I thought the story could have been more believable if the society at least seemed like it was an ok place to live. The people were told that they would not have to work as hard and that they would be provided for. But, they end up working much harder than they had before. I don’t think real people would submit to that readily. In the novel everyone just feels dead and keeps up the heavy labor. It isn’t how most people really would act.
The book is worth reading. It is a bit slow and unbelievable in places. But does give one reason to ponder.