As always, Jan mark gives us a compelling, thought provoking read. the hard won kindness and thoughtless cruelty of human nature are brought to the fore in a deceptively quiet, calm book. But throughout, like the characters themselves, you can feel a growing unease, and seething intolerance and fear just below the surface. In many ways I preffered this book to "the dispossessed", as it shows how terribly ideologies like "one man, one job" can become twisted into a societies where bribery, extorsion and forced deportation (with a hellish, prison like two year voyage back to a dangerously unstable "home") are the norm.
As with the later "eclipse of the century", at first it appears that Mark has not finished this book: we are left with so much to resolve. But in reflection it is the only way it could have ended, with the reader hoping against hope that everything will be alright, knowing that in truth the inevitible will come to pass.
this book is far too good to be reserved exclusively for children, it deserves to be read by all.