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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Review: Enclave

Title: Enclave
Author: Claire G. Coleman

Publisher: 29th June 2022 by Hachette Australia

Pages: 320 pages

Genre: dystopian

My Rating: 3.5 crowns


From the critically acclaimed author of Terra Nullius comes a novel in the tradition of Margaret Atwood and Naomi Alderman that explores a future of surveillance, disruption and segregation that echoes the horrors of a colonial past.

'These are troubling times. The world is a dangerous place,' the voice of the Chairman said. 'I can continue to assure you of this: within the Wall you are perfectly safe.'

Christine could not sleep, she could not wake, she could not think. She stared, half-blind, at the cold screen of her smartphone. She was told the Agency was keeping them safe from the dangers outside, an outside world she would never see.

She never imagined questioning what she was told, what she was allowed to know, what she was permitted to think. She never even thought there were questions to ask.

The enclave was the only world she knew, the world outside was not safe. Staying or leaving was not a choice she had the power to make. But then Christine dared start thinking . . . and from that moment, danger was everywhere.

In our turbulent times, Claire G. Coleman's Enclave is a powerful dystopian allegory that confronts the ugly realities of racism, homophobia, surveillance, greed and privilege and the self-destructive distortions that occur when we ignore our shared humanity.

My Thoughts

Enclave by Claire has a super premise and is set in Melbourne, Australia. A futuristic dystopian reflection born from the idea of what path will society choose to go down. An indoctrinated enclave where people are fearful of anything outside their walled city, Safetown. An enclosure that brings with it an extremely conservative outlook relating to racism, classism and homophonic/transphobic attitudes and way of life. To not conform is to be exiled. 

‘We explained that once you are exiled, once you leave the gates, you can never return, that it’s important to maintain the integrity of the Enclave, to keep undesirables and undesirable habits outside our gates.’

Claire does a fabulous job of bringing balance and optimism to this proposed new world. We know where prejudices and greed lead and this is seen by those living in Safetown.  Yet Enclave brings with it a light to counterbalance the darkness, showing how the opposite is also a possibility. This book is slow to unfurl but the message is clear and strong. What happens when society essentially is segregated into uniform allotments. Beware! Humans are not adept at seeing what is slowing evolving in front of their very noses. 

‘Several organisations have established walled enclaves where only the people they consider the right type are allowed to live. Government policies and laws at the time made it possible. Some of them are planned gated suburbs, others are religious and cult compounds.’

I would have loved for this book to provide more background details behind the enclaves and those that rebel. The story may sound familiar yet the message is clear and distinct. A solid read with an inclusive cast of LGBTQI through the medium of a futuristic dystopian society that makes many valid scenarios. 

‘These are troubling times. The world is a dangerous place,’ the voice of the Chairman said. ‘I can continue to assure you of this: within the Wall you are perfectly safe.’ … she flinched in fear automatically but tried to resist her reaction, understanding dawning that she had been taught to feel that way.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

1 comment:

Mystica said...

This sounds intriguing. Very Atwood.