Title: For Darkness Shows the Stars
Author: Diana Peterfreund
Genre: Dystopian YA
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: Personal Collection
Mankind’s attempt to control nature, led to an outbreak (the Reduction) of people born without the ability to speak, the Reduced. Elliot runs her family’s estate. As a Luddite, spared from the Reduction, her low-tech farm is home to many Reduced and those born to Reduced with the ability to speak (Posts).
When Elliot’s long-lost friend, Kai, returns to the estate, Elliot must face her decision not to run away with him four years earlier and her future in a world which is starting to change once more.
There is A LOT going on in this book (which is why my summary is somewhat lacking). Class conflict, relationship woes, friendships challenged, debates of philosophical/ethical/religious natures, power struggles, family drama, and atonement for past transgressions. Whew.
The complicated interactions between Elliot and Kai certainly parallel those of their inspirations, Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth, leaving the reader both exasperated and exceedingly interested in their relationship. Anne, while showing great leadership to her workers and standing up to her father, shows her unease and self-doubt when it comes to Kai. She’s both relatable and impressive.
I had a few issues with the novel. Some of the elements essential to the conflict and resolution are introduced rather late in the novel. The storyline with Benedict, for example, and the social structure outside of the North/Grove/Boatright estates. I also felt like things are wrapped up rather conveniently – I wasn’t expecting such an easy resolution.
That said, I really enjoyed it. Fans of Persuasion will not be disappointed, as there are many similarities. In fact, I think I need to go re-read Persuasion right now. Excuse me.