In an isolated prairie settlement in the past/future lives a small group of people, having moved into this territory from the East, survived bitter winters for five generations and lived in fear of an unknown enemy outside their walls. Emmeline is almost 16 and lives with the stain of her grandmother’s crime of waywardness.

Em too is wayward.

Boorman has created a convincing community (divided in the four directions and by two languages) and a convincing character who is led by night visions beyond the settlement to discover the real story behind her grandmother’s actions and behind the present actions of others.

Well crafted, full of tension and drama, this story is perhaps an allegory for today about the nature and abuse of power and the use fear to control. I hope the sequel to this YA novel is equally compelling.