The names are all there in the hat (a dapper one at that, a straw cowboy hat with "ND" embroidered on the band, because every item of clothing my husband owns is a paean to his alma mater), so drumroll please...
Rebekah is an extremely talented writer who blogs at Rebekah's Web Log, if you haven't discovered her yet. I am actually very happy to send Rebekah this prize, almost as a thank you, since she has told me that she's in the midst of reading my book already (and she's not even related to me!). I hope by the time she finishes it, she'll still be glad she won another copy.
Rebekah, please let me know where I can send the book (by going to the "Email me" tab on the right). And thanks for entering. For that matter, thanks to everyone else who threw their names into the hat. This was fun for me.
What isn't quite as fun is reading Michelle Buckman's Death Panels: A Novel of Life, Liberty, and Faith--but not because it isn't well-written and a page-turner to boot. A novel set in America in the year 2042, it is reminiscent of 1984 and Brave New World; but because so much of the "that will never happen" aspects of those cautionary tales have become a whole lot less unthinkable in our modern world, it is that much more frightening. Given all that is going on in our country today (and I'm not going to go into details here, because I swore I'd keep this blog a happy place and there's no possible way to talk about politics or the state of our government and still be happy), it almost reads like a news story rather than fiction. In Buckman's futuristic America, which has ceded its national sovereignty to a global entity called the UO (Unified Order of the World), babies born with abnormalities are routinely euthanized, women who dare to become pregnant after having two children are taken away for forced abortions, and patients are routinely denied care, depending on how the government perceives their worthiness. Marriage is all but a dead institution, and Christians who are out in the world and haven't been banished to The Dome (a place where Christians called Dominians live together in poverty) must keep their religion a secret. Each citizen has an ID chip that helps the state keep track of his every move--and even his every food choice. The government controls every single solitary aspect of life, and its mantra is "For the good of the nation, for the good of the world." Does any of this sound as if it's not too far-off in our once great nation, if we're not careful?
I'm not too far into Buckman's book yet, but I will say that there are heroes--among the Dominians as well as those living out in the world under the noses of the corrupt government. And these people are willing to risk their own lives to save even one innocent baby born with Down's Syndrome from government-enforced euthanasia. So even in what appears to be a very dark story, there is hope. When I finish, I'll try to remember to post a more in-depth review.
Okay now, for more book talk, head on over to Jessica's.