May 2010, Putnam Publishing Group
Review copy courtesy of UK Book Tours
Young Adult (Dystopian)
Violence: occasionally moderate, threat of violence/harm often present, family values, helping others, making decisions
Summary from Joelle Anthony's website
The year is 2041, and for sixteen year old Molly McClure, her life now is pretty much the same as it’s always been. She was only six when The Collapse of ’31 happened, ending life as the world’s population had known it. For grown-ups everywhere, the changes in their daily routines since The Collapse are a constant source of anxiety and worry. Not to mention bitterness at what they feel they’ve been cheated out of; abundant food and goods, ease of travel and communication, and financial security.
In Molly’s opinion, adults spend way too much time talking about the good old days. Sporadic electricity, bicycles, horses, solar powered tractors, sewing, cooking and farm work are all Molly’s ever really known, so she doesn’t waste a lot of energy worrying about what things used to be like. Life after The Collapse is just normal for her. At least until she finds herself forced to leave the comfort of her home and small island in British Columbia to travel down to Oregon.
What starts out as a quick trip to the United States to convince her grandfather to come back to Canada and be the island’s doctor, turns into a rescue mission, a test of Molly’s strengths, ingenuity, and sheer determination. She faces an unknown world where people are hungry, desperate, and sometimes even ruthless. But she also meets many helpful people, makes new friends, and is tested in ways she couldn’t have imagined.
Will a farm girl like Molly survive in this upturned world? Will she be able to return with her grandpa in time for him to help her ailing mother? And just how much will she have to compromise to succeed in getting back to British Columbia with her grandparents?
What struck me most about Raising Harmony were the issues that are examined. Family is the key to the book. Molly leaves the world she knows, to venture into an unknown and dangerous one to help her mother. She doesn't give a thought for her safety. Well, perhaps one or two, but I was extremely worried about her on her journey. Little was I to know that the journey to her grandparents was the safest part of the book.
The reception she receives at her grandparents wasn't a total shock (I didn't expect them to welcome her with open arms and tray loads of cookies). What happened next was a big surprise to me as a reader. It drummed home to me what happens when the availability of food, electricity and other other goods becomes scarce. People aren't just hungry and scared. People get resourceful. Well, Molly gets resourceful. Other people take things to an altogether unpleasant level of life.
All the characters within this book (well, most of them) improve in one way or another, all thanks to Molly. Molly helps teach cooperation, drives away sorrow for a short time, and she also loses a lot too. Her mistakes could be fatal to those around her. She sacrifices everything to keep her family - and others - safe. I'd like to have Molly by my side in a crisis. As with many books, I cried and smiled at the end.
There is little room for error in a dystopian world. But a lot of room for love and compassion.
Make sure you head over to Joelle Anthony's website.
If you liked the sound of Restoring Harmony, try Pastworld by Ian Beck