Adriane, a teenager living in 2039 America, is transported to 1959 Wisconson as punishment for treason (asking questions about the government). In exile, she has a new identity (Mary Ellen Enright), and attends university trying to adjust to her new life that is vastly different to the one she left behind.
“It was a novelty – ironing! I’d seen advertisements on the Acrady TV. “Housewives” happily ironing their husbands’ shirts.”
“MARY ELLEN – why are you crying? Are you in pain, Mary Ellen? Where is the pain? You can point, Mary Ellen, if that’s easier. Your heart? Your heart hurts? Or do you mean – your heart is broken?”Quotes from the book.
- The Guardian: “… brace yourself: it is an unrelentingly disturbing read.”
- Washington Times: Ms. Oates is a fine writer, and her descriptions of people, places and ideas are as impressive as ever. And the whole concept of the book is most ingenious, even if the reader doesn’t buy into it wholeheartedly.