Hope, a History of the Future Published by She Writes Press on April 19, 2022
Source: Review copy
Genres: Fiction / Family Life / General, Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary, Fiction / Feminist, Fiction / Multiple Timelines, Fiction / Nature & the Environment
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One quiet afternoon in 2037, Joyce Denzell hears a thud in her family’s home library and finds a book lying in the middle of the room, seemingly waiting for her—a book whose copyright page says it was published in the year 2200. Over the next twenty-four hours, each of the Denzell family members discovers and reads from this mystical history book from the future, nudged along by their cat, Plato.
As the various family members take turns reading, they gradually uncover the story of Gabe, Mia, and Ruth—a saga of adventure, endurance, romance, mystery, and hope that touches them all deeply. Along the way, the Denzells all begin to believe that this book that has seemingly fallen out of time and space and into their midst might actually be from the future—and that it might have something vitally important to teach them.
Engaging, playful, and thought-provoking, Hope is a seven-generation-spanning vision of the future as it could be—based on scientific projections, as well as historical and legal precedence—that will leave readers grappling with questions of destiny, responsibility, and the possibility for hope in a future world.
Based on precedent and scientific prediction, this book gives a fictional taste of what our world could become due to the current projections of our political and environmental climates. The information is doled out in a unique book that suddenly appears in this family home; the mom reads a bit of it, and the daughter reads a bit of it. I enjoyed including resources in this novel, such as the content pages, timelines, and appendix of referenced sources. Additionally, the narrative of the history book is compelling. My favorite part of this novel would be Plato, the cat. The writing of the Denzell family was very much told and not shown, and their presence was little more than a vehicle to tell the story of the history of the future. I’m not sure it was the best way to tell the story, as I felt jerked out of the story at times. I would have preferred if the story was solely told from the POV of survivors of the Great Change and those living in the future rather than having their stories be a plot within a book. I also would have liked to know more about Plato, the house’s previous owners, and just how the book came to be. A different kind of read and something quirky to shake up reading if you are stuck in a slump.