A young girl thirsts for love and freedom, but at what cost? Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from the backbreaking work of gathering Water. Escape from living as if it is still 1812, the year they were all enslaved. When Ruby meets Ford—an irresistible, kind, forbidden new Overseer—she longs to run away with him to the modern world where she could live a normal teenage life. Escape with Ford would be so simple. But if Ruby leaves, her community is condemned to certain death. She, alone, possesses the secret ingredient that makes the Water so special—her blood—and it’s the one thing that the Congregation cannot live without.Drought is the haunting story of one community’s thirst for life, and the dangerous struggle of the only girl who can grant it.Published by Egmont USA on 2011-01-25
Genres: Teen Dystopia, Teen/YA Fiction
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I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
The product description gives too much of the story away; I am glad I didn’t read it before I read the review copy.
Ruby is 200 years old and just reaching adolescence. That sounds like Hell to me, but to the Congregants it is a miracle. Their savior, Otto, had blood that could heal injuries and prolong life. He has passed that blood along to Ruby. Outsiders covet the healing “Water” that the Congregants drink and (for reasons not really delved into properly), their Leader told the outsiders that only the Congregants can gather the Water from the forest.
This lie results in 200 years of slavery-like suffering for the Congregants. Ruby longs to be free, but she is trapped by her circumstances. The resulting novel isn’t so much “fantasy” as a comment on religion. What sins are forgivable and which are not? When should believers stop waiting for a savior and save themselves?
Of course, the nerd in me kept thinking, “Needs more magic,” but Drought would make a great addition to a religion studies class. It’s nuanced and thought-provoking.