In 2012 the Canadian government signed an agreement aimed at encouraging foreign investment. Twenty five years on and the catastrophic effects of this contract are felt far and wide, and it becomes clear that the government has effectively sold out on its people, offering outside corporations the chance to plunder the country’s vast natural resources, polluting the ecosystem in the process.
We are introduced to a band of friends, brought together by a common aim to end the dangerous mining practices which are ravaging their country, who elect to fight back against ‘The Coalition’, an oppressive regime abusing its power over Canada’s citizens.
The characterisation is compelling, with the small but determined friends each given an appealing depth of personality and individual traits, which makes their fight against the Coalition all the more engaging. Relationships are cultivated and resolves are tested under the weight of violence and tragedy.
The villains of the show are the various members of the Coalition and their supporters, including the menacing Chong and the hateful band of militia at his disposal. These antagonists are not your usual clichéd bad guys, but a disparate band of personalities, all flawed in their individual ways. Some are power hungry, some are weak-willed, others, at times, are invested with an ounce of benevolence; such interesting variations ensure the board meeting scenes are ever tense and gripping - there is always conflict, and without fail that conflict manifests itself as bad news for the small gang of heroes whose role it is to defy the Coalition and seek the salvation of their country.
The author manages to evoke a setting with an almost post-apocalyptic flavour; life as we know it seems to have changed irrevocably, and the population, as well as the environment, are under grave threat. Perhaps pre-apocalyptic would be a better definition then…there’s certainly that tension, the foreboding that a great and catastrophic disaster is about to befall the country. The only question is: can this tiny group of friends, against the might of an all-powerful regime, fend off the seemingly inevitable? You’ll have to read From Thine Own Well to find out, and if you like political thrillers, eco thrillers, pre-/post-apocalyptic themes, you’ll like this. For all I know though, since I am not familiar with Canadian environmental issues, it might just be up your alley if you’re from that neck of the woods!
A sensitive topic, spiced up and delivered with insight and originality, as tense as it is thought-provoking.
(reviewed the day of purchase)