A sip of dystopian of rare vintage
Much recent dystopian/apocalyptic fiction is written like an espresso tossed back in a dark alleyway. Mariah's Dream, in contrast, is a sip of a fine vintage red enjoyed at leisure. Other reviewers have commented on plot and characterisation, so I will simply home in on one aspect of this novel - this is gorgeous writing. Savour it. Linger over it. Be immersed.
Three intersecting storylines are interwoven with masterful skill and attention to detail. Even a dog becomes a protagonist, meandering through the narrative to add a dreamlike flavour to the sometimes stark, even brutal future portrayed in these pages. Yet rays of hope stream out of the darkness as the story threads draw together in the final pages. For a very fine, literary dystopian experience, I can recommend few authors more highly than Grace Bridges.
Dystopian with some unexpected twists
Mariah's Dream took me on a trip. A trip to the future, to Ireland, and to ideas I'd never imagined. I enjoy sci-fi and dystopian tales, and this had some elements of both. The science was relevant, fascinating and horrifying: what if genetic manipulation wiped out most natural sources of food? What if a worldwide organization controlled the world's food supplies?
The setting was exotic, by my suburban CA standards. By the end of the story, I felt familiar enough with some parts of coastal Ireland to imagine that I could navigate the area myself. I like that sort of description in a book.
But also, the story took several turns that I did not expect, and that was not only a delight, but a delightful surprise. Not many stories these days break out of the predictable mold. Kudos to the author for doing something unexpected.
I liked the characters, really related to the strong leadership role that Mariah took, and enjoyed the relationships she built along the way. Romance, friendship, forgiveness and humanity. A great dystopian / post-apocalyptic type read.