This is a multifaceted story dealing with big, contemporary issues: how the Earth might change as it descends rapidly into a new ice age; what might be the consequences if falling sperm counts affect the frequency of child birth; how technological developments could alter everyday life.
These themes intertwine as we follow the fortunes of Saul, the technically astute but socially naïve husband of women's rights activist Susan. Saul works as a nanotechnologist, making breakthroughs in artificial life which help in the development of "mobots", automated housecleaning robots which become known as "Doves". Meanwhile Susan becomes a leading light in Wica, the women's political party that is running Britain.
However, as the weather continues to get colder, Saul eventually feels compelled to kidnap Luke, his sickly son, from mother Susan and head for Africa where it may just stay warm enough to sustain life. This marks the beginning of a different kind of adventure, one which will see Saul and co fighting for their lives as society disintegrates around them.
Gee, an established author and former Booker Prize judge, displays the full range of her talents in this densely written, fast-paced novel. --Sandra Vogel
--This text refers to an alternate
'A fantastic book.' Mariella Frostrup'Excellent... intelligent, driven, imaginative, obsessive yet still gracious, one of our best.Exciting stuff.' Fay Weldon'Up there with Orwell and Huxley.' Jeremy Paxman'A gem of a book.' Rose Tremain 'A rattling good page-turning yarn.' George Melly'Maggie Gee is one of our most ambitious and challenging novelists.' Sunday Times'A gem of a book.' Rose Tremain'She writes elegantly, unsentimentally, expertly.' The Independent'Mordandly witty, unsparing, politically savvy, a beautifully clear and bracing nasty vision.' TLS