Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
Molly and her family have been living fairly successfully since the Collapse of 2031 ten years ago. The live on a small island off the coast of Canada and are fairly self-sufficient on their farm. Good thing, too, because when oil pretty much ran out during the Collapse all the big governments grabbed up what was left, so there’s not a whole lot left for things like transport of goods. Not everything is easy, though. Molly’s mother is pregnant and has high blood pressure and signs of gestational diabetes and the only doctor in town just died in a freak accident. To make matters worse, it seems that Molly’s grandmother down in Oregon may have just died, but the family can’t be sure.
In order to calm Molly’s mother’s fears that her father cannot be doing well after the supposed death of his wife, and because Molly’s grandfather is a doctor and their island is sorely in need of one, Molly is sent to Oregon. The trip is not an easy one. First of all, since Molly is only 16 she is not legally allowed to cross the border by herself. Law and order – as well as road and bridge upkeep – have declined precipitously since the Collapse. In getting to Oregon, Molly meets a handsome young man who seems to be very sweet and helpful, but who also seems to have mysterious ties to something, and a surprising ability to come up with whatever goods are needed.
I definitely enjoyed reading “Restoring Harmony.” Based on the writing, I would guess it is aimed at younger teens. Not too young, though, as there is some violence and alcoholism. Sort of that middle place between Middle Grade fiction and the more mature Young Adult fiction. I loved Molly’s character, because she was hard working and smart, although sometimes things seemed to just fall into place too easily for her.
I can forgive some of the too-convenient events, however, because it was quite refreshing to read a dystopian novel that actually had currents of hope running throughout. Yes, life was harder and certain things became more difficult after the Collapse, but there was still a strong current of love and family in Molly’s life, which was a nice change.
Joelle Anthony is one of the ladies of the 2010 Debutante Ball.