Francine decided to share her MacArthur award with the Foundation so that she could study a group of remarkable animals, gentle and intelligent – the perfect creatures to certify her astonishing theory of reproduction, a revolutionary concept that has already changed genetic testing and unmasked public figures and past presidents.
As Francine learns more about her fascinating subjects, we slowly discover that she has access to the most advanced technology: “bodyware,” the lifelike devices that have replaced cellphones, computers, watches, television—most every means of communication. This near-future world is utterly dependent on these little understood mechanisms and implants.
And so when the terrible, dry winds sweep out of the abandoned places in America, silencing all devices, Francine and the man she has grown to love make a decision that will determine if they’ll face a premature ending or, maybe, find a chance to start life over.
This superb literary novel can’t be characterized as dystopian or science fiction. Audrey Schulman has written an absorbing, recognizable story, a book that is humane, generous and surprising. Readers will shiver as they keep turning the pages.
Audrey Schulman is the author of four previous novels: Three Weeks in December (Europa, 2012), Swimming With Jonah, The Cage, and A House Named Brazil. Her work has been translated into eleven languages. Born in Montreal, Schulman now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she runs a non-profit with her husband.