Restoring Harmony

Restoring Harmony

3.8 15
by Joelle Anthony

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The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse--one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities. Molly… See more details below


The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse--one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities. Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they're financially ruined and practically starving. What should've been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn't, Molly's only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there's a handsome stranger who's willing to help. Restoring Harmony is a riveting, fast-paced dystopian tale complete with adventure and romance that readers will devour.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Adeptly combining adventure and romance, Anthony’s debut is a tense and often charming tale that never lets its use of the oh-so-trendy dystopian future trope overwhelm some great characters. Molly, a 16-year-old fiddler who lives with her family on a small Canadian island, sets out for Portland, Ore., to see to the health of her grandparents. Various environmental and economic calamities have made communication and travel difficult, and Molly learns many of the harsh realities as she travels south. Once she reaches her grandparents, lacking the money to return home, she puts her gardening skills to use to help her neighbors and meets a handsome boy who goes by the name of Spill. Her troubles are compounded when she learns of the local criminal organization, and her mother’s pregnancy makes getting back to Canada more urgent. Anthony occasionally misfires—some of Molly’s naïveté toward the outside world is overdone, and the complex rules the criminals follow are silly and contrived—but for the most part, the focus is on Molly’s toughness and ability to handle and overcome problems. Ages 12-up. (May)
Anthony delivers a plucky heroine..., a taste of romance, and a family-values-based narrative about dealing with unexpected circumstances.
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
It has been eight weeks since Mom has heard from the doctor in Seattle. That was when she received the call about her mother's hospitalization and the message that left Mom uncertain about her mother's condition, or whether or not she was still alive. Since Mom is pregnant, she is unable to travel from their home in Canada to Seattle where her parents live. Travel is difficult between the two countries because transportation has been run by the government since the Collapse of 2031. Most people in this farming community travel by foot or by bicycle, but to get to her grandfather and bring him to Canada now that he is alone, Molly will have to travel by plane and by train. Molly will have to travel alone except for her constant companion, her fiddle that she has named Jewels. After a very difficult trip that involved losing her shoes, being chased by desperate men and being befriended by many, Molly arrives in her grandparents' town of Gresham, only to discover that her grandmother and grandfather are still residing in the home they lived in fourteen years ago when her mom left her studies to be a doctor and moved to the farm in Canada. Involvement with a criminal element, a touch of romance and a young girl exemplifying strong traits of courage, responsibility and integrity make this futuristic novel a winner for young adults. Although it has elements of science fiction, it presents many realistic possibilities for our own future. This author will be winner among readers in upper middle school and high school. This is a worthwhile addition for the Social Studies/Civics curriculums. Reviewer: Joyce Rice
VOYA - Hillary Crew
It is 2041 and ten years since the "collapse" of the world economy. Oil is no longer available but sixteen-year-old Molly and her family sustain themselves on an island near Vancouver. When her grandmother is assumed dead, Molly, a dedicated fiddle player, is sent to Portland, Oregon to rescue her grandfather, taking with her the precious violin, "Jewels." It is a dangerous world off the island. Only with the help of the charming young man, "Spill," is Molly able to negotiate the journey to her starving grandparents barricaded in their large, empty house. She takes over next-door's vegetable garden, neglected by the dissolute Doug, and mothers two orphaned children left in his care. Meanwhile, she plots (with her grandfather and "Spill") their escape from the "Organization" (run by Spill's aunt). The best aspect of the book is Anthony's beguiling cast of characters. Molly is smart, plucky, and determined to do what must be done to fulfill her mission. Her crusty grandfather and the gangster-like Randall, both hard on the outside but softer on the inside, are well-drawn. Anthony describes the empty cities well, with their broken infrastructure and failing technology. But the threat of the "Organization" is muted during their escape as Anthony does not build a sense of real danger into this part of her story; and a polio outbreak episode seems extraneous. A plot that gathers pace and hurtles toward the end, and Molly's tender romance with Spill, however, enhance the novel's appeal. Reviewer: Hillary Crew
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—This dystopian tale features a resourceful, spirited, and immensely likable heroine. Molly McClure, 16, has lived her entire life on a small island in Canada. Since the Great Collapse of 2031, her family has managed to create an oasis of security, growing their own food, using solar energy for power, and relying on bicycles and horses for transportation. When they receive word that Molly's grandmother is seriously ill, Molly's mother is deeply worried, further complicating her pregnancy-related health issues. Communications are sketchy at best, and Molly leaves the island to travel to Oregon and hopefully return with her grandparents (her grandfather, a retired physician, has long been estranged from his daughter). She bravely sets off, taking along her beloved fiddle for comfort and company. Already a risky venture, her quest is further imperiled by a run-in with the local crime organization and an outbreak of polio resulting in a border closure. Anthony sketches a world in which food and energy resources are in short supply and people struggle for day-to-day survival, creating a believable backdrop for her complex and charismatic characters. Though it doesn't break new ground, this book is a suspenseful and highly entertaining read that—despite the grim premise—is a surprisingly upbeat and hopeful look at the future.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
Kirkus Reviews
Suspense dominates this absorbing and believable near-future dystopic novel about a girl sent to rescue her grandparents from the United States ten years after "the Collapse." Sixteen-year-old Molly travels alone in 2041 from her comfortable Canadian farm to a formerly affluent, now desperate neighborhood near Portland, Ore., where her grandparents struggle to survive in a barter economy. Molly meets a young man who seems to want to help her, but can she trust him? He appears to be connected to the organized-crime mob that runs Portland. Yet Molly may have little choice if she wants to get back to Canada. Anthony easily builds suspense and creates both an attractive personality for Molly and interesting characters to support her. Some people act morally, some eagerly steal and others may be deadly, but Molly holds fast to her mission and thinks as quickly as she plays her beloved fiddle. The author's vision of a future America following the failure of the oil-based economy makes realistic sense and keeps interest high. Highly readable; very well done indeed. (Science fiction. YA)

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Penguin Young Readers Group
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12 Years

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