Friday, February 4, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Drought by Pam Bachorz

Ruby has lived over 200 years with her congregation, forced to gather water everyday for a sadistic overseer.  Ruby dreams of escape but she holds a secret - only her blood is what is keeping her people going.  Without her, they would all wither away.

Let's get a few things straight from the get-go: on the surface, DROUGHT is a slow building narrative (maybe too slow for some) and it leaves a lot of unanswered questions which will be frustrating for many.  However, when you dig a little deeper, you'll find much to mull on in regards to faith, duty, and the importance of love.

The main conflict here is Ruby's self-actualization vs the needs of the community as it becomes clear that the two are mutually exclusive. Ruby has been emotionally stunted by the drain of her duty to her mother and the congregation.  When a kindly guard enters the picture, he offers her a glimpse of another world - one in which she would be able to "find herself" and the idea is appealing (as is getting frisky with the guard), especially as Ruby begins to have a crisis of faith.  Her mother has been preaching that Otto will save them from their backbreaking work for over 200 years, but Ruby's patience is running out.

Belief in the saving power of Otto obviously has some religious parallels which you see in the congregations communion (they drink of "his" blood once a week) and their willingness to turn the other cheek and endure beatings in the name of their savior.  You come to find out just how twisted the whole arrangement is via the character of Ruby's mother.  She is at once a pieta figure (takes the punishments due others upon herself) and a iron-willed megalomaniac who would see her family and friends suffer needlessly for centuries just so she's not alone.

I wouldn't have minded a bit more excitement and explanation, but since there is so much to sink your teeth into here, I think it's a novel well worth reading and give it 3 zombie chickens.




I also have 1 copy to give away today to one lucky reader anywhere in the world!  Just fill out this google form by Feb 28th, 2011 at 11:59 pm CST for your chance to win.


Read interview with Pam Bachorz
See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

14 comments:

Rachel Star said...

Great review, Lenore! Thanks for really examining the book and looking at all the aspects. I think I might have a go at winning myself a copy.
-Rachel Star
P.S Loved Dystopian August. Now LOVING Dystopian February :)

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for the review - I don't think this one is for me.

booksNyarn said...

I think books about self-actualization have a tendency to run slow at times, as it is an internal action, versus driving external ones. I am really intrigued about the relationship of Ruby and her mother, so I will take a chance at this book too. Thanks for the review!

Precious said...

Thank you for this review! I've heard good things about Drought and it has earned a place in my wishlist.

Krystal said...

I am awaiting my ARC (from other contest win), and I'm looking forward to giving it a read.
Thanks for the honest review! I'll try to check back in once I finish my copy and let you know what I think of it!

Charmaine Clancy said...

Very honest review - thanks :-)

A Backwards Story said...

Thanks for the awesome review! I saw this on the shelf, but didn't realize it was by the same author of Candor (which I recently bought but haven't read...)

Can't wait to read for Dystopian February!

Shweta said...

Dystopian fiction just gets more twistier :) I am adding this to my list Lenore.If it's a worthy read I dont mind slow narratives ...

Jessy said...

I've read some unfavourable reviews for Drought, but I loved Candor so much I'm willing to still give it a shot. Thanks for your take on it.

the epic rat said...

Excellent review - totally agree that there is a LOT to chew on with this book, and I really hope Pam Bachorz has a sequel in mind to provide answers!

The ending left me at a loss for words - unexpected twists that really leaves you slack-jawed!

Cialina at Muggle-Born.net said...

I'll probably bump this down in terms of priority (unless I win a copy somehow) since you did say it's nothing to get really excited about. It still does sound like an interesting read.

lisa said...

thanks for the review. i've heard a lot of buzz about this book, even peeped it at b&n, but just wasn't drawn to it...until now.

your review reminded me of the show Lost...the slow building story with underlying themes and unanswered questions.

i'm in.

Zibilee said...

I have been reading quite a few great reviews of this book, and I have to admit that the issues examined in it really intrigue me. It sounds like there is really a lot of depth here.

Jenn's Bookshelves said...

I've been meaning to pick up this book. I'm one who doesn't mind digging a little to get to the core of a book. Plus, the author is "local" to me and I'm always excited about spotlighting local authors. Thanks for the giveaway!