Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman Review

The Other Side of the Island After having read so many dystopian novels it is good to know that some books can still capture my attention ,this one did . Although the classic elements of a dystopian novel are present ,The Other Side of the Island combines them in a really interesting way.

The main character Honor a.k.a Heloise is both lovable and  annoying .She  doesn't question what she should  and accepts what she shouldn't ,she makes wrong choices and has mixed feelings about her family.But she learns, she gradually sees things the way they are although Helix,his friend,has to open her eyes more than once.

One of the most appealing  elements of dystopia in the novel is the way books are changed to suit the needs of the almighty Earth Mother ,pages are ripped and destroyed and whole passages are completely rewritten.It really makes you wonder about the books we are reading now,how our history was also written by the victors.

Another element that stands out is the presence of  the orderlies ,people deprived of all identity,with no memories ,no personal thoughts and who look alike on the outside,like sheep.They somehow remind me of some people in our society who are so eager to fit in that lose themselves in the process although ,unlike the orderlies , they do it voluntarily.

The book is a page turner,I wanted to read it but I didn't want it to finish.It has an open ending but not so open that you cannot figure out what is going to happen.

The author ,who grew up in Honolulu ,has an interesting biography,  I still  haven't read any of her previous books but I may give them a try.

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