The Line (fiction)

Does a fence keep enemies out or keep its citizens in?
Who controls the truth?
Can people truly do what’s right in defiance of their own society?

Welcome to a possible future on this Metaphysical Monday, to the “Unified States” where Rachel and her mother need to be unremarkable, to not draw the attention of government agents who are looking for any reason to remove possible security risks.

Imagine – agents having the power to imprison people who can’t pay a random tax on the day it’s enacted, to strip a family of all its possessions and force them into the perpetual poverty of the Labor Pool, to make people just disappear …
Her mom still has a copy of the original rights bill, even though it’s treason to mention it.

The peacefulness of propagating orchids with Ms. Moore in the Property’s greenhouse won’t last long when the message arrives from The Others across The Line – how can the mutated former citizens talk like regular people?

A chilling look at an all-too-plausible dystopia where government boundaries and policies determine everything – except compassion. Rachel’s story continues in the newly published sequel, Away.

Book info: The Line / Teri Hall. Dial Books, 2010. [author’s website] [publisher site] [book trailer]

Recommendation: Rachel wonders about The Others, the mutated creatures that exist across The Line. That invisible barrier still protects the Unified States from the results of a terrible war. No one crosses it now; no one worries about the Unified citizens who were trapped outside The Line when the experimental bombs landed.

She and her mother are safe here on The Property, working for Ms. Moore, growing orchids. After Rachel’s dad was lost in the war, they were lucky to find Gainful Employment away from the city – where joining the ranks of the Labor Pool means inescapable poverty, where government agents remove those who are “security threats”.

But when a voice recorder gets past The Line with a plea from The Others for medical assistance, Rachel must decide if she can help – and how she can get the medicines through The Line. Her mother reminds Rachel that the government-controlled news isn’t always the truth and reveals secrets about her father’s past. Ms. Moore explains her connection to The Line as they try to work out what they can do to help The Others without alerting the government agents.

Why did the government close The Line so fast that many of their own citizens were trapped outside? How did anyone survive those attacks? Why doesn’t anyone come back when the agents take them away?

Join Rachel in this dystopian future as she weighs the options – stay safe on her side of The Line or do what’s right despite the danger. First in a series, followed by Away. (One of 5,000 books recommended on Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

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