At first, Into the Forest was a word-of-mouth favorite of booksellers. Soon larger publishing houses were noticing Jean Hegland's debut novel and giving it rave reviews. Powerful and disturbing, Into the Forest offers images of an all-too-believable future. As America collapses in the chaos of war, pollution, and bankruptcy, two sisters pool their resources to survive alone in the hills above San Francisco. Although dwindling food and increasing isolation threaten them, they soon find a more immediate danger standing at their door. When a young man arrives, his friendship offers tantalizing fulfillment, but his love threatens to divide the sisters.
Hegland's provocative work is reminiscent of George Orwell's 1984 and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. It infuses a tale of survival with startling insights into a young woman's quest for strength.
©1996 Jean Hegland (P)1998 Recorded Books
Stuck in the driveway, listening.
Jean Hegland weaves and unravels and stitches together a tale of love, resourcefulness and courage so compellingly plausible that I feel the need to study the healing power of herbs to prepare for her imagined future.
Equally gripping is Alyssa Bresnahan's narration. Her pacing is spot on, her voices distinct and yet subtle. She is ever present for every thought, word, sentence.
I read this book because I enjoy apocalyptic books of survival and relational intrigue. It was on topic, but so disappointing in its content. The characters were unlikeable and, as a man, a nihilistic thrust of feminism was off-putting. I was hoping for some redemption in the end, but was again let down.
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