Release date: 13th May 2010 US
Target audience: 12+
Summary from Penguin USA:
The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.
Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.
Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.
Restoring Harmony is a different kind of dystopia. This book gave me no fear of an impending doom. It almost showed me an idyllic scene of a future which returned human society to subsitence living. But I'm misleading you, 2041 does not mean life amid a rural countryside. We have not stepped into Lark Rise or Candleford (for those non-British readers this is an period drama adaptation of a novel by Flora Thompson which details the life in a English Hamlet and neighbouring town). Post-collapse America proves to be a tough existence for all those people not blessed to be part of the aristocracy. The oil has run out. There is nothing to fuel cars. Travel is a test of extreme survival. Enter our spirited 16 year old heroine Molly who has to journey from her small Canadian island to Portland, Oregon having barely any money and not being of legal age to cross the border. The journey tests Molly both emotionally and physically.
Molly is a brilliant narrator who is easy to love from the first page. She has lived on a farm with her family all her life and it is clear that her heart belongs there with the people and places that she loves. Molly's journey is not a naive girl's adventure but a necessity for her mother's health. Along her journey she meets the lovely Spill, a man of mystery who offers the hand of friendship. His presence brings a tender aspect to the novel and certainly gave me the dream of hope for both of their survival.
The plot obviously involved much moving from one destination to another; however, it was swift and gripping. For once, I enjoyed the experience of travel with a character. Molly's resourcefulness really made her journey a pleasure to read about and I really could not put the book down. Her voice is so easy to adore.
Overall, Restoring Harmony is an unusually easy dystopia to read. There are undoubtedly hardships and injustices in this novel. A future in which all the power resides with governments and organised crime agenices is perhaps one we should all fear. Yet there is a beautiful feeling in this book that people are returning to the land, to nuture the world in order to survive. It is an idea that I'm quite enamoured with. This is a wonderful story of survival, of friendship, of family and love. A brilliant read!
NB: A special thanks to Joelle for allowing me to borrow her ARC.
Also, just want you all to know that there is a much more articulate review of this brilliant book @ I Was A Teenage Book Geek. Lauren is not only one of my favourite bloggers but a dytopian expert and she says all you need to know about this book much better than I can.