“Eleutheria” by Allegra Hyde
“Eleutheria” is the Greek word for Freedom or Liberty.
Allegra Hyde’s stunning debut introduces us to Willa Marks. She is the single daughter of fully dysfunctional parents who are a volatile combination of survivalists and opioid addicts. A child comes out of such an upbringing either as a total mess, or with skills perfectly suited to a unique role in the world. Willa is firmly in the camp of the latter.
Willa’s parents were on to something. The near- future world of “Eleutheria” is a complete and total disaster. Climate change is wreaking havoc throughout: drought, famine and devastation in some parts, oversaturation and flooding in others. Stifling heat bakes some regions, massive hurricanes destroy more. Political systems have totally broken down; democracy is a thing of the past. Elections are delayed or, most often, outright canceled. Autocracy and martial law are the currencies of the day. There are some devolved “Occupy”-type resistors out there scrounging for food, clothing and shelter, while being clearly outnumbered by quasi-governmental militias armed to the teeth.
And there are others who follow the teachings embodied in “Living the Solution” who are dedicated to creating a sustainable utopia in Eleutheria to avoid the coming apocalyptic collapse. Is Willa Marks the final ingredient necessary to save the world? Allegra Hyde gives us an exciting, smart, grounded story that feels way too close for comfort.
Thanks to Vintage Books @ Random House and NetGalley for the eARC.