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A gift upon the shore
M. K. Wren
Adult Fiction WREN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Unsparing but ultimately hopeful, this elegiac novel, set in the near future, traces the first generations to survive nuclear war and ensuing plagues. Writer Mary Hope and Rachel Morrow, a painter, eke out a meager existence at a farm on the Oregon coast. As they struggle through the Long Winter following the End, as the nuclear disaster is simply called, their desolation is succeeded by a determination to collect and preserve for a new civilization the great books of Western culture. Down the coast is another set of survivors, the Arkites, a fundamentalist group that denies all knowledge not contained in the Bible. Mary marries and briefly joins the Arkites but leaves after the leader calls Rachel a witch. Years later, when plague strikes the Arkites, Mary agrees to take in the few survivors on condition that she be allowed to educate the children as she sees fit. A bitter struggle develops between Mary and a strong-willed young Arkite for the minds of the children, particularly the boy destined to lead the next generation. Wren's (the Phoenix trilogy) post-nuclear world rings true, as do her compelling depictions of the subsistence-level daily life--the triumphs, the losses and the desperation. ( Mar. ) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Would the survivors of nuclear holocaust have any reason to go on living? That is the question that must be answered by two women who have lived through the final conflict and now face the devastating nuclear winter that follows it. Mary and Rachel, the only survivors in their area, believe that choice makes us human, and they choose to affirm their humanity by preserving whatever knowledge can still be saved. Desperately longing for companionship, they hope eventually to meet other survivors. But when contact finally comes, more hard choices come with it. Wren's novel is thought-provoking in its consideration of ordinary people forced to confront the unthinkable. While the plot is not without cliches, and characters are not always fully developed, the author's passionate concern with what gives life meaning carries the novel. Recommended for fiction collections.-- Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Mary Hope
Survivor of a nuclear holocaust.

Rachel Morrow
Survivor of a nuclear holocaust.

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