Tuesday 10 May 2022

Homestead - A.K. Frailey

A.K. Frailey
A. K. Frailey Books

This work is the eighth from the masterful pen of Frailey that I have read. This one started off slow but really built. It at times seemed similar to some of her other stories, and at times completely different. It was a story that took me by surprise. I tend to pick up new offerings from Frailey and read them quickly, but have been slower at returning to her older works and reading them. And every time I read one of her new released her older books jump up in ‘my to be read’ pile. This story is hard to pin down, it is not quite dystopian, nor end times, nor the 1000 year reign. But it has elements of each. Though at first readers might not put all the pieces together. And then there is the alien elements, both benevolent and malevolent. Like some classic science fiction works I have read by Herbert and Bester this is a story I know I will return to, and will likely come away with a different feeling on each consecutive reading. But back to this volume. The description of this book is:

“Technology crashed, an alien race invaded, and my husband and children were in different locations. To survive, my heart dug deep into the homestead. Hardship tested my ingenuity while loss challenged everything I believed in, but despite every kind of sin and suffering, my homestead remained true. There's no place I'd rather be.”

The main theme of aliens or loss of technology have both been done many time in Science Fiction over the years. In fact I have worked on a short story with some elements that overlap. But it having a reason, a purpose, a sort of sifting of the worthy and unworthy is an interesting twist on the themes. I could not help but picture the author herself as the main character. And though her family is much larger than depicted, there seems to be a certain feel. 

This story is one of recovery. Recovery of the sense of what it means to be, and to be good at being. It is about figuring out what really matters to us, and how we can live truly in community. To help each other, to help others in need. And to come together. It helps us take a look at the technology and the world around us, and see it as just tools, and as such can be used for good and bad, but what if it all stopped working. It is a story about family, friendship, and community and about coming into our full sense of self and purpose.

Two of the three plugs for the story on the back cover are by authors I trust and respect. The third I have not heard of. Ellen Gable states: “A.K. Frailey’s newest book is a compelling read and is particularly relevant for current day events. Highly recommend!” And Theresa Linden states: “What is the power went out and never came back on? With as unusual challenge and bizarre twists, Homestead is a truly unique story that inspires thoughtfulness about how we live our lives.” My own reactions echo both of those sentiments. The story truly was a compelling read, and it did cause me to pause and reflect, to reflect on how I live, and how I would respond in a similar circumstance. Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s in Campus ministry there was often a focus on end times, a rapture, a tribulation. And I can admit that something along the lines of this story makes more sense to me than many of the ones that were popular back then. 

This is a book that caused me to really slow down, take stock and think. It is a masterfully written tale. And one I can highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by A.K. Frailey:
Melchior: Vengeance is Mine
The Adventures of Tally Ho
It Might Have Been: And Other Stories
Encounter Science Fiction Short Stories and Novella

One Day At A Time And Other Stories

New Earth Series:
The Last of Her Kind
NEWEARTH: Justine Awakens

Deliverance Series:
Ishtar's Redemption: Trial by Fire
NEB the Great: Shadows of the Past

Hidden Heritage Series:
Georgios II - A Chosen People

Old Earth Series:
OldEarth ARAM Encounter
OldEarth Ishtar Encounter
OldEarth Neb Encounter
OldEarth Georgios Encounter

The Road Goes Ever On: A Christian Journey Through the Lord of the Rings
Heart Beats: Spiritual Being Human Journey
Hope's Embrace & Other Poems

No comments: