People say that books can take you places. Diane Cook takes us to a pristine wilderness, which we see through the eyes of a group of people who try to make a life there while the world outside burns. I cried, twice. This book helped me to understand why people fear so much for our natural environment, and then do so much to protect it.
It’s beautifully written and had me gripped from start to finish.
She put her foot against that worn skin and shoved his limp body. “Please don’t kick me anymore.” He curled tighter, his head hiding in his hands as though he expected a beating. “You may have noticed I’m not doing well.” Bea pushed him with her foot again. [Loc: 5790]
They would make a family and rear their young, and then, at an age when it seemed their young could take care of themselves, they would send them away to find their own land to explore. And then they’d have more young. “What age were you thinking,” Jake had asked. “I think probably by six,” said Agnes. Jake paled. “What?” “You don’t agree?” She absorbed his silence, studied the incredulous look on his face. “I guess I could be convinced to wait till seven or eight?” “Agnes, that is way too young.” [Loc: 4838]
The clouds hung in the sky like dirty globes of cotton. [Loc: 1751]
“Aren’t you worried about that fire spreading?” Bea’s voice quaked with anger, and maybe a little sadness. “Not really. My horse is fast.” [Loc: 4797]
Juan muttered, “Pickup location.” He shook his head. “Pickup location?” He fumed. “Pick up meant pick up people?” “I thought they were giving us some fucking rice,” said Debra. [Loc: 2612]
She knew on the other side of it was a profoundly different world. She thought it must be the border with the Mines. The land was mostly in active use, the jobs automated, but she knew there was housing for the workers who were needed. The workers tended to be those who couldn’t afford even the smallest apartments in the City. Who’d been pushed out, priced out generations ago. Now they had barracks or low-cost apartment complexes for their indebted lives. [Loc: 1079]
The salt was the thing that lasted the longest. And after it was gone they discovered that real food tastes like dirt, water, and exertion. [Loc: 840]