Joyce Carol Oates has been writing novels for many years now. And she’s back with an interesting novel about a different United States where you have to watch what you do and say, as it can mean the difference between life and death. When you do something wrong you can be killed or you can be sent back in time as a punishment for a number of years and then brought back to the present time if you are good and follow the rules.
For Adriane Strohl, a senior in High School, a few lines written in her speech as valedictorian of her class lands her in deep trouble. She’s arrested and accused of being treasonous and given a choice. She can be confess that she had help and did things wrong or she can be exiled and is sent to Wainscotia, Wisconsin in 1959. Her memories are somewhat wiped and she has to start over in a time she doesn’t know with people she doesn’t know. She does know how the future will go and has to be careful what she says and does. She is also warned they are watching her and she’s not to say anything about where she is from. Get good grades, stay out of trouble and in fours years can return. She’s also given a list of rules to follow.
She also discovers more people like her here and they seem to know that each is there but do not say anything. Except when she figures out one of the professor’s assistant is from here time and they secretly meet and fall in love. This could cause them troubles but they continue to meet and makes plans to try and leave the college and start a new life.
Things don’t go as planned and Adriane finds her life in turmoil and on a new path that she never expected.
Any interesting premise of a story. The total control of this future United States and the time travel element make for a fascinating topic and how the future could evolve (not that I expect this to happen in my lifetime but who knows). I do know author Joyce Carol Oates continues her stellar writing with this story.
It’s available in stores now.