The Book Opens with the Following Words
‘I walk toward the sea. The endless surface of the water extends to the horizon, whichever way I look.
Our world is small. We are on our own, and we only have ourselves to depend on. We rely on the Force deep within us, as taught to us by our forefathers.
If I were to walk westward from here, I would come across a barrier – the Wall. Behind it, there are Fools. At least, that’s what everyone says.
I have never seen one.’
Leia lives on the Island, a world in which children leave their parents to take care of themselves when they are ten years old. Across this Island runs a wall that no one has ever crossed. The Fools living behind it are not amenable to reason – they believe in illusions. That’s what The Book says, the only thing left to the Eastern Islanders by their ancestors.
But when a strange man washes ashore and Leia meets a Fool face to face, her life will never be the same. Is what she and her friends believe about the Island really true?
Or is everyone in their world, in fact, a Fool?
The novel begins with a very interesting touch. Twins Leia and Collin leaving their home to live apart. The start is fraught with an intense emotion of parting as the children leave their nest, albeit far too early.
The book shifts its attention 6 years later as Leia lives her life under duress in the Manor where a ruthless bully Saul controls their life and draws sadistic pleasure in fights among the residents and making the residents work on the Island.
The book takes a sharp turn when Leia decides to take matters into her own hands on discovering that everything they knew about was a LIE!!
I’ve never been a Star Wars person, I’ve not read any Star Wars related matter and I only know Spock because of random references in The Big Bang Theory (Bazinga, anyone?!!) So the parts about references to Star Wars didn’t really make me shrink or comment.
There were a few points Jen made which I interpreted and I found them highly enjoyable!!
1. The world is divided into a sea of people, which can be easily categorized into Fools (swinging between those who are eerily optimistic and going towards those who believe that the glass is half full, those who see the good in everyone) and the Unbelievers (those who didn’t believe in just about anything at all).
We do call optimistic people and a lot of times label people whose dreams are not similar to ours as “Fools” and the common term for cynics is people who do not believe, “Unbelievers”
2. Curiosity is something our world is quick to kill. We should however the world reacts, keep that flame alive and question. I don’t mean questioning negatively and casting a doubt to every good thing in the world, but question what you don’t know, question the bad, question to learn. Here is an extract from her book
“An Arranged Marriage?” I gape at her. “Come on, that never happens anymore! We have freedom of choice.”
“Yes, in case you hadn’t noticed: Saul’s not freedom’s biggest fan. That guy is nuts. You think he comes from a line of Fools?”
I chuckle, “Did you cross the Wall and fall off? Nobody here is descended from the Fools.”
Mara averts her eyes. “Aren’t you ever curious, Leia? About the people on the other side of the Wall?”
“No, of course not,” I deflect quickly. “We know how it is with those people.”
“Why? Because Saul says so?”
This is such an innocent conversation but with such undertones. We as adults are so often suspect of taking things at face value and believing in them, more than believing in ourselves.
3. The one learning that shines across is that Hope Never Dies. Love Never Dies. It morphs but it stays. Constant.
Here is another extract
“I left them because I thought it foolish to sit out my days waiting for salvation that will never come, but they were right about one thing. A mother’s love never dies.
Know your roots. Know that there is more to life than our own, small world. When you come back to me and you are open to my love for you, we will cross the Wall together.
Faith, Hope and Love”
4. People may seem rude and belligerent but deep down, they are just hurt. It is upto us to convert that hatred and rebellion into love. Here is another extract
“Can I hear it again?” Saul asks so reverently that I suddenly see him with different eyes. Here is a little lost boy- not a ruthless dictator
This was a very enjoyable book to read.
I read it in One Sitting and loved every moment of it. Some parts reminded me of the Indian society, especially the part about trying to find a suitor and then living away from your parents and going from the home you were born in to another home. But that is not what the book is about.
I never felt the need to have this converted into a full scale novel. I sometimes feel that a short expression leaving many things unsaid does so much a better job than a lengthy description about the same story.
This book has all the things you need to make a good book
1. Strong Characters
2. A Thick Storyline
3. Some Action
4. A sprinkling of Romance
5. That thrill running down your spine
6. The Sheer Magic of Jen’s Writing Pen!!
Go for it Right Away