Friday, February 4, 2011
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
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