Willa Marks grew up with paranoid, doomsday prepper parents. A childhood isolated from the real world, the rest of society. She goes on to live in Boston with eccentric, strange, cousins. The city leaves her shell shocked compared to the nature surrounding childhood she once had. That all changes when she comes across Harvard professor, Sylvia Gill. Sylvia is intelligent and shows Willa how the world really is.
After many days spent with the professor, Willa comes across a book about a place called ‘Camp Hope’ and how the leader of this camp has plans to save the world from the impending climate disaster. This is all a girl filled with hope needs to hear before jumping on a plane, to the Bahamas, to join those saving the ecosystem around them.
The reader gets to experience two sides of the climate spectrum here. First, we start with Willa’s childhood. Parents, who I would say are far-right conspiracy theorists, who only view the negative that nothing can be done to stop the apocalypse and that you should only focus on yourself and your small family, when the time of the end of the world comes. In most literature that I have read, we always see things from a leftist perspective, now I may not agree with a far-right point of view, but I do want to read from all standpoints and see people who have different beliefs than my own. Later on, in Willa’s life, we see her meet Roy Adams and his local of Camp Hope, Adams is an optimist, he is trying to prevent climate change or make it easier for the people who will go through it. To Willa, this is the complete opposite of what she has known, and it intrigues her, gives her hope in the world.
Willa is a character who grew up in isolation. She seeks out other people to compensate for the lack of relationships with other people in her childhood and teenage years. Rather this be, following her cousins, with their crazy schemes throughout the city, stalking a Harvard professor until she becomes her closest companion, or flying to the Caribbean to join a somewhat cult to stop climate change. Very unique character work.
If we think back to Willa’s childhood, growing up in a secluded cabin, in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire; that makes me want a book with that atmosphere. Yes, we do get bits and pieces in flashbacks but that would play into a really cool story in itself. Boston, it was like you would expect it to be. The Bahamas, Camp Hope, very intriguing, especially as someone who had been to the Bahamas, and not for vacation purposes. It was very easy to picture and just overall fascinating at the thought of someone making a camp or compound like Camp Hope.
The writing is what I marked the most of in my experience annotating ‘Eleutheria’. There are positives and negatives. At first, I had no idea how this writing would be for me, I knew that I was either going to love it or hate it, well, I fell in the middle of that. The quotes lack actual quotation marks, but I never had a hard time telling who was speaking. This is the first time a book that I have read has been successful with that. Another thing, at the start, the author seemed so focused on making the writing sound poetic or metaphoric. I could not help but roll my eyes at some of the comparisons. However, as the book progressed, it became easier and easier to read and I started underlining more and more quotes. That being said, some of the paragraphs were beautiful and had great commentary on the society we live in and are going towards.
That leads us into the plot. The first plot point that I will focus on is how Americans view climate change and really anything in the world that is not at our front door. A lot of us, Americans, don’t seem to care what is happening in other parts of the world. We just scroll on by and say something like “Oh, that sucks.” and just go on to the next post but no, most really don’t care unless it is right in their backyard threatening their actual way of life. This can be said for a lot of first world countries in the Western Hemisphere. It was just great to see this brought up and how no matter the number of protests and petitions are done, most of the time nothing is actually done to fix the issue. Hyde, the author, just goes to show the morals, or lack thereof, that go behind so many campaigns on making the world a better place or just social movements in general. Just great, great commentary on the political climate around us and how it is truly all messed up. It was all just so realistic on how people, mainly Americans, would act and are acting in the world of an ever changing climate. I highly recommend picking this book up for the ideas and themes that are presented.
The reader gets to experience two sides of the climate spectrum here. Very unique character work. If we think back to Willa’s childhood, growing up in a secluded cabin, in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire; that makes me want a book with that atmosphere. The setting was very easy to picture and just overall fascinating at the thought of someone making a camp or compound like Camp Hope. The writing is what I marked the most of in my experience annotating ‘Eleutheria’. That being said, some of the paragraphs were beautiful and had great commentary on the society we live in and are going towards. I highly recommend picking this book up for the ideas and themes that are presented.
3 out of 5 stars.