The Children Of Men by P.D. James
NOT YOUR TYPICAL HOLIDAY READ
I like to read one serious dystopian novel when I’m on holiday. I appreciate that these aren’t necessarily the kind of books people would opt for whilst switching off from the world but for me, they work every time. Maybe the holiday setting takes the edge off some of the most frightening scenes .
This week I read The Children of Men. Written in the early 2000s, it came out as a movie which I never saw. The premise: no child has been born for 25 years. In the face of humanity’s imminent extinction, Theo Faron, cousin of the Warden of England, Xan Lyppiatt, is deemed by a group of dissenters as the one who might hold the key to a future with some semblance of hope. The rest is literally his-story as Theo keeps a diary, detailing what happens next, which, dear readers, I’m not going to spoil for you.
James writes like an actual dream. Not only has she built a scarily plausible world based on the stuff of nightmares, her turn of phrase and incredible ability to capture the most subtle of movements, thoughts and intricacies just make this all the more vividly real.
The book is set in 2021, which was the future when she wrote it but now serves as an alternate reality to the present day. It kept my mind whirring throughout because whilst this is clearly not the world we live in, so much of what James has written and the questions she makes us ask ourselves are hugely relevant.
I used so many bloody tabs while reading and this instance, they are a marker of how much I loved this one because there are so many pages I want to make sure I come back to again and again, whether I’m on holiday or not ~ S
Order your copy here.