Our choice for February, is The Ship - a brilliant read for older teens/young adults (or indeed any other adults!)
‘Our planet contains a finite amount of oil, and our lifestyles rely upon it to a degree that we know is unsustainable. Industrial scale food production destroys rainforests and soil structure; we’ve lost all connection between the agriculture and the seasons. We know these things, just as we know our lives are monitored constantly. Yet, like frogs being boiled, we drive, buy winter strawberries and trust that there will always be more…’
Set in a London of the future; civilisation is in meltdown, martial law is in place, nothing grows from the over-farmed and poisoned earth and only the very desperate or very clever have a chance of survival. The British Museum and Regent’s Park shelter the destitute, and people kill one another for the precious identity card that is the only access to provisions in a world governed by a digital portal called ‘The Dove’.
Sixteen-year-old Lalla is shielded by her parents from the worst horrors of her environment and only knows the confines of her family’s flat, though she glimpses her surroundings on occasional visits to see the diminishing contents of the British Museum with her mother. Lalla longs for the green apples of story books and a different life. Her father, the charismatic yet zealous Michael Paul, has planned a way for his family to escape London: he will captain a ship big enough to save five hundred worthy people.
Once on board, as day follows identical day, Lalla’s unease grows. Where will the ship take them? What does her father really want? Lalla must use all her initiative to find out and to decide for herself whether life on the ship is better than the horror they escaped from.
Author Antonia Honeywell studied English at Manchester University and worked at the Natural History Museum and the V&A Museum running creative writing workshops and education programmes for children, before training as a teacher. During her ten years teaching English, Drama and Film Studies, she wrote a musical, and a play which was performed at the Edinburgh Festival. She has four children and lives in Buckinghamshire. The Ship is her first novel.
The Ship is published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson on 19 February. We are delighted to have 50 copies to give away. To enter the draw please fill out the form below.