Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Drought by Pam Bachorz

This story had me really intrigued once I read the synopsis but unfortunately I found it a little slow and also kind of frustrating. Ruby Prosser is a slave. She has lived her entire life (200 + years) among her Congregation on Darwin West’s compound in the woods. Escape has never been a true option. Ruby’s mother and the rest of the Elders feel that if they are just patient their savior, Otto (Ruby’s father) will return and save them. Darwin West is a cruel man, forcing Ruby and the rest of the community to harvest water under grueling conditions. Darwin has been made to believe that it is the Congregation’s act of harvesting the water in the woods that makes it special, little does he know that the secret to the healing powers of water lies in Ruby’s veins.

The beating inflicted by Dawin’s and his Overseers on members of the Congregation are enough to kill most but with life-prolonging Water they are able to endure. Then Ruby meets Ford, a new Overseer who appears barely older than her. The attraction between the two is instant and strong. Ford wants to take Ruby away from this life but will she be able to run away with him and leave everything she has ever known behind? And worse can she condemn the only family she has ever known by taking her blood away when she goes?

One thing that frustrated me about this story was that Ruby didn’t really have anyone to turn to. Ford was the only lifeline she had. Everyone else was shady, even her mother seemed more like a villain throughout the story. I felt like the story was a little unrealistic at times. The way that this community blindly followed orders seemingly accepted their circumstances seemed forced. The Congregation was more of a cult in their own right.

Ford was a character that I would have liked to see developed more. I feel like his mother’s illness could have been delved into more. Ruby and his relationship could also have been strengthened to the reader if they had more interaction/outings. I will say that I was pleased with the end of the story (and not just because it was over). The end gave my frustrations an outlet and brought a touch of hope for Ruby and Ford. The ending is what moved it from a 2 to a 3 star rating.

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