Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban-doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in--the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. Read more...
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Blythe Hallowell is sixteen when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an aban-doned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in--the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world, and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Deter-mined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give mean-ing to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promis-ing and devastating. As Blythe's dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice--between survival and freedom.
Above is a riveting tale of resilience in which "stunning" ("Daily Beast") new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of "Room" and "The Lovely Bones" before her, Morley explores the unthinkable with haunting detail and tenderly depicts our boundless capacity for hope.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-25
- Reviewer: Staff
Morley (Come Sunday) scores with an audacious page-turner. Blythe Hollowell is only 16 when she’s kidnapped and taken to live in an abandoned missile silo by Dobbs, a local conspiracy theorist, who has chosen her to help him repopulate the world after end times. If the premise and some of the concepts initially owe too great a debt to Emma Donoghue’s Room, the specifics of life underground and Blythe’s coping mechanisms—in particular, her touching habit of using memories to teach herself, as she gets older in captivity, how to be an adult—quickly set it apart. At first Blythe dreams of escape and resists Dobbs, but as the years pass, she weakens, and when she bears a son, Adam, and Dobbs becomes increasingly unpredictable, she resigns herself to life in captivity. Time passes without losing momentum, and soon Adam turns 15, questioning Dobbs’s authority and demanding to go into the world they call Above. In a series of gripping twists, Morley elevates the complexities of Blythe and Adam’s situation, deepening the themes of survival and dependence. The tension diffuses toward the end, but the majority of the book is a stellar and surprising ride. (Mar.)