The new novel from one of the greatest twentieth-century writers. Doris Lessing returns to the world of visionary fiction, last visited in her acclaimed 'Canopus in Argos' quintet of novels in the 1980s. It is sooner than you might think. And the earth's climate is much changed -- it's colder than ever before in the north, and unbearably dry and hot in the south. Mara, who is seven, and her four-year-old brother Dann find themselves somewhere very strange, not home...They are taken in by a kindly, grandmotherly woman, but this new life is hard: hunger, dirt, thirst and danger are the children's constant companions. Drought and fire carry off their adoptive home and force them to set off northward into the unknown, to experience a series of adventures that bring them through to an altogether altered world, where they can start to learn and build anew. Doris Lessing has written a compelling, troubling and entertaining novel that, through the remarkable odyssey of a brother and sister living in the imagined future, manages to tell us a great deal about the present we only dimly perceive and scarcely know how to value.
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