Patron Review: On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee

onsuchafullseaSet in the near future dystopian US, the author creates a complex, recognizable yet different, future for us…or those who colonize our ruined cities. (Who is Us and who is Other is just one of many topics Lee lays out for us to contemplate.) No great nuclear cataclysm, just financial and environmental ruin create the landscape, which contains the logical results of many of our current obsessions.The author, sending his Everywoman, Fan, on a treacherous journey through “B-Mor”, “the counties” and “the Charter villages” raises so many questions about our choices, our love, our families, that a book discussion group could spend all year discussing this novel. The basic argument over fate versus free will plays a large part in the trajectory of this story. I thought he was going to spin out of control near the end, with so many different ideas in play, but Lee manages to collect his themes and distill them in Fan, culminating in a plausible outcome within this future. I recommend On Such a Full Sea to readers who enjoy Margaret Atwood’s futuristic fiction.

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