Review Blog

Jul 19 2012

The glimpse by Claire Merle

cover image

Faber and Faber, 2012. ISBN 9780571280537.
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. This is a compelling dystopian novel. At first, this dystopia may seem miles away from our present world; for in Merle's future, the world is divided into Pures and Crazies. A simple DNA test determines an individual's likelihood of mental illness, thus determining their 'Purity'. As one of the characters suggests, this is a world based on scientific racism. However, as we learn more about the events which led to this new world, this dystopian future may seem all too possible. References to a Global Depression and Petrol Wars will sound familiar whilst a world where people can be tracked by their online presence, may seem all too close for comfort.
And the protagonist, Ana, is caught right in the middle of the moral dilemma created in a world where the Pures have it all and the Crazies are at the mercy of the Psych Watch, who may swoop in at any moment and cart Crazies off to a 'loony bin'. Whilst the Crazy world might seem threatening to any right minded Pure, what if the DNA test that lies at the heart of this new future was not all it seemed?? For Ana this question is critical. Firstly, because it is her father who designed the test. Secondly, because of the doubt surrounding her Pure test results. And thirdly, because the young Pure she was betrothed to has mysteriously vanished as he sought to uncover the truth about the DNA test.
In her quest to rescue Jasper, Ana finds herself deep in the heart of the Crazy world where she learns that many of her prejudices were unfounded. On top of this, she just might be falling for a young man who may be Jasper's only chance for freedom . . . or who may be intent on destroying her world. Not only is Ana fighting for Jasper's future she is also fighting for her own. And as the plot twists and turns, this smart young woman, will find her courage and determination is put to the test. Her adventures will have the reader on the edge of their seats to the final page.
Deborah Marshall

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