Ellen was brought up inside a clinical world. A city constructed of rigid rules and cubed blocks of food sustenance. Genetic engineering and conflicts of war divides the world her dying grandmother knew, and the one Ellen knows. A last request from her ‘Gran’, leads Ellen on a journey into the unknown.
Bix, a genetically engineered male takes her to the Outside. Across the Sefuty Line. To another world. Here, she learns the way of the world as her grandmother had known it before she entered The City. Livestock and fresh food preparation, daily rituals that shocked and intrigued her, challenged her inquisitive mind. Learning the horrors she had been told existed; existed for a purpose. A way of life; a survival process. Gradually Ellen tasted, quite literally, a new life. She adjusted to their ways. Still she found it hard to accept a smile or an embrace.
In one week, Bix and she learned about love and life together. Then came the time to part. For Ellen to return to the rigid life she now questioned. Would the Elders be able to rid her of her memories? Would the love she and Bix found, survive?
Author Alberta Ross captures the viewpoints of each main character in a unique way. Every chapter is a sound recording, transcribed of the person’s opinion of each other. It is also their interpretation of the same event.
Move forward several years and we come across two new characters. One an Archivist and the other a researcher. They have found the transcripts of Ellen’s life. She becomes a history project within a story. Through their correspondence we learn more and more about genetic mutation, Ellen’s past secrets and the conflicts that come about through her solid determination. We also follow the build up to a new love story developed through the correspondence of Maia and Ris.
It is so hard to explain this cleverly crafted, several stories in one, novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Storyteller's Tale is the second in the series.
I look forward to reading more about the life of Ellen and Bix.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)