CM . . .
. Volume XIV Number 11 . . . . January 25, 2008
In 2008, the cruiser Sacramento sinks off the coast, spilling genetic material into the ocean. The seas begin to show signs of contamination sometime after 2028. By the year 2048, Bruster’s Syndrome is diagnosed, and by 2053 quarantine camps for the diseased are opened; the wealthy flee the continent. This is the back story to the novel, Keeper’s Child. Keepers operate homes for those who have the disease. Harold is such a Keeper. When Jessie returns to his brother’s home, he discovers there is only one desgastas, as the diseased are called, Robin, age 13, still alive in the house. Harold has raised Robin based on his own faith, and his bitterness.
The storey is set in the year 2088. The land is diseased, and civilization has broken down. Jessie Grange is a doctor who has spent 30 years trying to combat the disease and protect the beautiful city, Carpenteria, where he lives, recognized there as a celebrity, behind the city high walls. His experiments are failing.
Jessie returns to the family home where his brother Harold, the Keeper, is dying. After Harold’s death, Jessie takes a reluctant Robin and an eager Isabella, a local grocer’s daughter, back with him to the city where they can live under his protection and become well-educated. The two women discover that all is not as well within the city as they would like to believe.
Robin rebels against what she sees and goes to live in a desgastas community outside the city; Isabella remains a student at the university. Jessie continues his research. The city of Carpenteria is a place of wonder, complete with high tech devices and coffee shops. Beyond the city walls, the diseased land continues to spread with dead fish washed up on the beaches and mutating vegetation.
Well-written and often graphic in its descriptions, this novel, at 340 pages, is divided into 21 chapters, and it is a story of a future ecological disaster that is man-made. It is a cautionary tale about a battle for the survival of humanity.
Ronald Hore, involved with writer’s groups and workshops for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.