Thursday, February 6, 2014

From Thine Own Well - Review

About the Book:

Canadian society has been altered, seemingly irrevocably; water resources have become scarce and individual freedoms cast off. It is now 2036, only 24 years since the most devastating of a series of international accords, one simply known as The Agreement, set the precedent for many that followed – effectively causing the federal government to collapse into ruin and dependency on corporatist rule. Unrestricted fracking and irresponsible mining practices have caused major watersheds and underground streams to become contaminated, the precious fluid - noxious. The sole purpose of The Coalition, a regulatory body created by the world-wide conglomerates that took over the governing of the country is to ensure the profitability of its corporate members. In Yukon, Canada’s far north, a baker’s dozen of unknown, everyday people and one dog are loosely thrown together in an effort to combat The Coalition and its impact on Canadian lives and the environment. Join Landon, Nora, Galen and the others who, through no design of their own, have become the unknown hope for Canada’s future. Will they prevail in the small jurisdiction they reside in and set the bar for the rest of Canada? Only time will tell. 


I really enjoyed From Thine Own Well!! When I saw that it was a dystopian, I just had to get my hands on it. As I was reading the description, I was expecting it to be overflowing with environmentalist propaganda, but I was willing to put up with it because... it's a dystopian and I cannot get enough of those.  It was such a pleasant surprise to see that it was not environmentalist propaganda, but a well written dystopian. Sigh of relief!!  Yes, Norm Hamilton talks about the effects of illegal fracking, mining, etc. on the environment, but he also shows the downside of being totally environmentalist.  Society cannot function in extremes.

"What we need is balance. If we go too far one way or to the other there are problems. When our focus is only on environment we have a low economy; if we focus entirely on business, we destroy the environment. Balance is paramount - we need the environment to survive but we also need to have healthy enterprise operating. During this century we have forgotten to maintain that equilibrium. Equanimity in thought is what we seek." 
From Thine Own Well

This is what I would call realistic dystopian.  You know, there are some stories that masquerade as dystopians, but you couldn't really imagine the societies existing (Hunger Games, Ender's Game, etc.). Then you have those dystopians that make you sit back and wonder not if they are possible, but when will they happen.  From Thine Own Well Well falls into the second category.  Set in the not too distant future, the Canadian government enters into an agreement for the betterment of business which leaves a loophole for the detriment of the environment.  We see examples daily of people using loopholes to their own advantage, even when there are catastrophic consequences for those actions.  Hello BP oil spill.  So it is not a far leap to see that the events Hamilton describes could feasibly take place.

There are a lot of characters to focus on in From Thine Own Well, but they each serve a unique purpose.  You cannot get rid of any one of them without there being a hole.  Some you will fall in love with, some will fall in love with each other, some you will simply love to hate.  But they all are woven together perfectly with the story and match perfectly with the dystopian society that Hamilton has drawn.

About the Author:

Norm Hamilton lived in Whitehorse, Yukon for 40 years. In December 2012 he retired and is currently on Vancouver Island with his wife, Anna, where he is meeting people and experiencing new adventures to write about. He trusts that retirement will afford him the time to delve further into his writing. This photographer, freelance writer, copy-editor, proofreader and novelist is currently enjoying Lake Cowichan, B.C. Norm’s latest project is a novel titled, "From Thine Own Well," a story about a dystopian Canadian society brought about by unrestricted gas fracking and irresponsible mining techniques. It all began with a FIPA agreement in 2012 that left the federal government open to lawsuits - that they lost. Norm has written one non-fiction book, "The Digital Eye." It is a compilation of articles for people wanting to improve their photography skills or for those who want to learn digital photography. This book is available as a paperback on Amazon, and as an eBook on Amazon Smashwords, Kobo and other online retailers.

No comments:

Post a Comment