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How close would you hold those you love, when the end comes?
In a society where self-preservation is as much an art as a science, Norah and Arthur are learning how to co-exist in their new little world. Though they hardly know each other, everything seems to be going perfectly – from the home they’re building together to the ring on Norah’s finger.
But survival in this world is a tricky thing, the air is thicker every day and illness creeps fast through the body. And the earth is becoming increasingly hostile to live in. Fortunately, Easton Grove is here for that in the form of a perfect little bundle to take home and harvest. You can live for as long as you keep it – or her – close.
File Under: Science Fiction [ Teratoma for One | Nine Lives | Cell Patchwork | Till Death ]
Poet Hardaker (Bone Ovation) explores corporate greed, health-care inequality, and the limits of human relationships in her deliciously weird fiction debut. Recently engaged couple Norah and Art hope to carve out a spot for themselves in a perilous, disease-ridden near future. Survival isn't easy, but health-care company Easton Grove helps its members prolong and augment their lives by harvesting strange creatures called ovum organi, though how exactly this treatment works is kept eerily vague. The lucky members of Easton Grove bring the ovum organi into their homes and treat them as a hybrid of children and pets, though they must frequently be replaced with fresh creatures. Norah and Art are initially excited to take theirs in, but as they navigate the joys and pitfalls of this odd parenthood, they uncover disturbing secrets about the state of the world and their relationship with both their ovum organi and Easton Grove. Hardaker's nuanced prose and great sense of character ground the story as it delves unabashedly into the surreal, consistently catching the reader off guard with eerie imagery and delightful twists on expectations. Readers willing to work to unravel this strange dystopian world will be rewarded with a tale that is as thought-provoking as it is chilling.