Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
Once in a generation we open a new book to discover a voice and a vision that have the power to change the way we look at ourselves and our world. These are the novels we read, remember, and return to again and again: Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale, " Doris Lessing's "The Golden Notebook, " and now, from Jean Hegland, an extraordinary fiction debut... "Into The Forest." Eva, eighteen, and Nell, seventeen, are sisters, adolescents on the threshold of womanhood--and for them anything should be possible. But even as Eva prepares for an audition with the San Francisco Ballet and Nell dreams of her first semester at Harvard, their lives are turned upside down and their dreams are pushed into the shadows. In a nation suddenly without electricity or communications, Eva is compelled to dance alone to the music of memory, and Nell's education consists of reading the encyclopedia, devouring knowledge as if it were her last meal. Theirs is an age of darkness and terror....A distant war rages overseas. Resources society had depended on, such as gas and electricity, are no longer available. Riots spread through the inner cities, while deadly viral infections spread across the countryside. Isolated in their home in the northern California woods, Eva and Nell live in a world without television or phones, in a time of suspicion and superstition, of anger, hunger, and fear. Perhaps one day the lights--and their dreams--will return, but orphaned by their parents' deaths and by society, Eva and Nell have been left to forage through the forest, and through their past, for the keys to survival. As they blaze a path into the forest and into the future, they become pioneers andpilgrims--not only creatures of the new world, but the creators of it. "Into the Forest" is the gripping, unforgettable story of these remarkable sisters as they struggle to redefine themselves and their life together. It is a passionate and poignant tale of stirring sensuality, chilling insight, and profound inspiration--a novel that will move you and surprise you and touch you to the core.Jean Hegland is the author of "The Life Within: Celebration of a Pregnancy." She lives with her husband and three children in northern California on fifty-five acres of second-growth forest. She is at work on her next novel, which explores the issues of motherhood.