Author ~ Jane B. Night
Publisher ~ Jane B. Night
Published ~ 6 March 2013
Genre ~ YA/Dystopian/Short
*Book source ~ Won in a LibraryThing giveaway. Many thanks to LibraryThing and the author.
My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble out of 5
Amber Clare is a product of the time after the Underground Age. The devastation after WWIII was so vast that it was only the 1,000 people in the underground bunkers who survived. After 100 years they emerged to an ecology that was once again thriving. However, those initial 1,000 people split into three groups and when they emerged they declared each group a country, Josiathan, Pacifican and Retois. The country of Josiathan is a very pious country who believe the Earth was destroyed because of the sins of women. So the women in Josiathan have no rights and are owned by men, first by their fathers and then by the husbands who purchased them. The two other countries are not so rigid in their laws and are considered heathen countries by those in Josiathan.
Unlike her sister Katrina, Amber it entirely happy with the laws restricting women. She is intelligent and curious, so when her brothers would leave their schoolbooks strewn about she would borrow one and eventually taught herself to read. Soon after Katrina’s engagement announcement is made Amber finds herself engaged to a wealthy man named Orion Louis. A man she’s never even seen. But he paid her father two Roseway horses for her as well as a promise to pay for her housing and care while he was away at school, so they were wed. Orion is away at school for four years, so it isn’t until he graduates that he returns for her, takes her to the home he has built for her and they begin their life together. Orion already loves Amber, but will Amber fall in love with her husband? Will he be a good husband to her or will Amber resort to running away? Only time will tell.
This is a very interesting story about how women are at the mercy of the men. They have no rights, no chance at schooling, they eat after the men are finished, can be punished or beaten for any infraction (except while they are pregnant) and have no independence. And to think it hasn’t really been all that long ago that this way of life was common and is still common today in some societies. How far we have come from those days where women were just another piece of property and used for breeding the next heir.
I love Orion. He and his family are not so rigid in the Josiathan beliefs because their family actually had a written record of what truly happened to send the 1,000 people underground. It was most definitely not the sins of women that caused the devastation. Amber is a wonderful character, too. Watching them build a relationship in a backwards manner (married first then getting to know one another) is an enjoyable experience. The shocking ending came almost completely out of left field. I feel so sorry for the Louis family yet there is also hope. All-in-all a wonderful read.