Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from struggling to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive--and Darwin rich. Escape from her certain, dreary existence, living as if it's still the early 1800s, when the Congregation was first enslaved. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient to the Water: her blood. So she stays, and prays to their savior Otto, who first gave Water to the Congregants... and fathered Ruby before he vanished.
When the Congregants discover Ruby's forbidden romance with an Overseer, they beat Ford to stop her from running away with him. Ruby steals their store of Water to save Ford's life and is banished. Ruby has everything she's dreamed of: a modern life with Ford. But the modern world isn't what she thought it would be, and Ruby can't forsake the Congregation. Love and loyalty push Ruby to return and fight for her family's freedom...at a terrible price.
Drought is a unique, riveting, and disturbing tale of one girl's struggle over loyalty, love, and the ties that bring them together in a dysptioan setting.
Drought tells the story of Ruby, a girl who's been enslaved along with the rest of her people by Darwin West since the 1800s. At the hands of Darwin and his Overseers, Ruby and her Congregation face cruel punishment and have to collect water from the forest every day, no matter how dry it may be. But then Ruby meets Ford. Ford is a new Overseer but he's nothing like the typical one. He's kind, sweet, and starts a friendship with Ruby, promising her an escape- a life of freedom and a regular teenage life. But is Ruby ready to leave her family and friends, especially since her blood is the reason why they survive? And what about Ford? Is he nearly as nice and caring as he appears? Only time will tell in this in Pam Bachorz's sophomore novel!
Ruby was a character who I liked from the start, because not only is she someone who manages to save her people time and time again through her blood giving, but she also acts as one of their unofficial leaders- someone, who along with her mother, keeps everyone together and as safe as they can be. I thought Pam did a fantastic job of showing Ruby's distraught and confusion over which side to choose in her situation- freedom or staying with and loyal to the people who made her. It was an intriguing one, basically the backbone of Drought. Adding to this, I loved seeing how Ruby's relationship with Ford developed over time because not only was it sweet and simple but it was interesting to see how Ruby dealt with her feelings for Ford and what came with them. Pam also did a great job of developing the side characters, such as Ruby's mother to the scary, perfect villain type Darwin West.
One of the first things that drew to read Drought was the premise, and thankfully, the execution was even better than I expected. As mentioned before, Ruby's internal struggles were not only one of the big backbones of the plot but also something that made this book move in a swift, easy pace. I liked how throughout the novel Pam lead the reader to make their own decisions about Ruby and her people's somewhat obsession with Otto. It was a scary thing and cased a lot of thought on my part about people and their "heroes" so to say.
Just like in Candor, Pam's writing was fantastic. I thought she did a great job of moving the story along at a fast pace, all while establishing a lot of character and plot development. She's one who doesn't shy away from the hard-hitting scenes, and I respect her for that because it leaves a bigger and better impact on the reader, even though some scenes involving the torture and starvation in Ruby's world may be hard for some to read.
In all, Drought is no sophomore slump for Ms. Bachorz. Instead it's a novel filled with intrigue, romance, and one girl's internal struggle- one that may throw everything in flames or make the best changes possible. I simply can't wait to read more by Pam!
Drought will be released January 25, 2011!
Source: Publicist at Goodman Media. Thanks, Jenny!
Look out for an interview with Pam coming tomorrow!