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The Visitor (2002)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0380821001, Mass Market Paperback)Do people change their ways? The Visitor explores this question on a number of levels in a postapocalyptic setting. Centuries after a catastrophic asteroid strike on Earth, survivors have rebuilt a society of religious conservatism and repression. Past technology is remembered as magic, and violent sorcery is a common political tool. Young Dismé Latimer is only concerned with surviving her abusive childhood until she discovers the journal of ancestor Nell Latimer, a scientist chosen to survive the asteroid and preserve as much human knowledge as possible. As the forces of good and evil, of science and magic, begin to converge and conflict, Dismé learns the truth about the world that came before and begins to understand that she, like Nell, has a role to play in the current preservation of Earth.
Tepper's writing is always skillful and eminently readable, and she's not afraid to tackle big ideas as well as individual stories of growth and change. Although the novel loses some focus toward the end, it paints a compelling picture of a society on the point of disintegration and graphically demonstrates how humans who are unaware of their own history are in fact likely to repeat it. --Roz Genessee
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:34 -0400)
"When an asteroid crashed into the Earth hundreds of years ago in the twenty-first century, much of what was considered civilization was obliterated. All that remains of that time are paltry fragmented memories of science and life colored by myth and superstition. The "magic" that once was America died horribly, along with most of the planet's inhabitants. But a wasted world is coming back alive - despite the tyranny and cruel punishments that the repressive ruling order inflicts daily on a greatly reduced populace." "Disme Latimer's entire family was lost forever, though not as a result of global cataclysm. Rather, much more recent and mysterious circumstances made Disme an orphan, leaving the gentle, troubled young woman at the mercy of a cruel stepmother, an abusive stepsister ... and a book." "A sacred, unsettling tome written by an ancestor - the courageous scientist Nell Latimer, who left a husband and family behind in her attempt to salvage something of the post-castastrophe world - Disme's book contains disturbing ideas and revelations that are compelling a shy youth to take bold and dangerous action. But common "wisdom" and lore warn of malevolent entities out in the world, and advise would-be adventurers to stay where they are. Yet other myths suggest that the selfless band of planet-repairing scientists - including Disme's brave forebear - have somehow, miraculously, survived to this day. And Disme Latimer will uncover the truth and reclaim a lost world, whatever and wherever it might be."--BOOK JACKET.
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