A Gift Upon the Shore

A Gift Upon the Shore

by M.K. Wren

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626811287
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Publication date: 07/09/2013
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 374
Sales rank: 690,710
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 15.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Martha Kay Renfroe is an Oregon writer, author of mystery and science fiction under the pen name M.K. Wren. Her work includes the Conan Flagg mystery series, the Phoenix Legacy trilogy, and the postapocalyptic novel A Gift Upon the Shore , set along the Oregon coast.

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A Gift Upon the Shore 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looking for something different to read i had passed this book by numerous times but decided i would give it a try i was blown away a powerful story beautifully crafted at 70 years of age i have often wondered about "what if" and what would i feel compelled to pass on to a hopefully future generation if i could this book is about a future senerio that will challenge humanity all that was lost a slate wiped clean reminds me of the orson wells book THE TIME MACHINE what three books would you take? Now i am seriously working on leaving to my grandchildren something that speaks to the world i have lived in to the world enfolding before them. This was not just a really good read it also left something to reflect on which i believe the author felt in her soul and felt compelled to write. This book has now become one of the three books i would take.
sturlington on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Note: This review contains mild spoilers.A Gift Upon the Shore is a post-apocalyptic novel, set in the years following the utter destruction of human civilization. in a farmhouse on the Oregon coast, a small community has survived. But the age-old power struggle between knowledge and religion is still going on.The novel opens with the narrator, Mary Hope, describing her life as an old woman 40 years after humanity has destroyed itself. She lives on a seaside farm with a small group of survivors: a couple of older women, like herself; the first post-apocalypse generation, who lead the community; and their children. This is a literalist Christian group, although Mary doesn¿t participate in their services. She is the children¿s teacher, an arrangement she made with the group¿s patriarchal leader, Jeremiah, in exchange for allowing his flock to live on the farm.Mary decides to take one of the young men, Stephen, as her apprentice. She tells him the story of the apocalypse and what happened in the years following, and is writing the story down for him to have. The novel thus alternates between Mary¿s first-person account in the present and her third-person chronicle of the recent past.The young Mary came to the farm just as the world was disintegrating into chaos. Her bus was attacked by a band of ¿Rovers,¿ and Mary was rescued by Rachel Morrow, an artist who lived alone on the farm with a menagerie of animals. The two women foresaw disaster coming when their neighbors were brutally murdered, and so stocked up for survival. Then the end came: nuclear war plus a raging epidemic wiped out nearly everyone.Rachel and Mary eked out a subsistence for years, never finding another survivor. They had a purpose, though: to preserve the thousands of books they have salvaged for any future generations. They planned to seal the books up until printing was re-invented and future people had the means to reproduce them.Then a man wandered down their beach, very sick and near collapse. The two women nursed him back to health. He explained that he came from a small Christian community not far away, which anticipated Armageddon, as they called it, and thus were prepared to survive. Although it was clear that their beliefs about God and the place women were very different, Mary decided to marry Luke, as she believed it was her responsibility to have children, if she could. She moved to the compound for several months, but left when their leader and doctor refused to give a gravely wounded Rachel any medical help because he believed her to be a witch. It is Rachel¿s history and beliefs that Mary particularly wants to chronicle for Stephen to teach the future generations.In the present, Mary has taken in the remnants of the religious group, after Luke and the others died of illness. But Miriam, Jeremiah¿s sister and co-leader in all but title, is suspicious of Mary¿s teachings and tries to discredit her any way she can. Mary soon begins to suspect that Miriam might be planning to murder her or destroy the books Rachel worked so hard to preserve.Clearly, this is a novel about women: their strengths, their weaknesses, their relationships with one another. The male characters are much less defined, and serve either as foes or as uneducated vessels, who need the wisdom of the women. By contrast, Rachel, Mary and Miriam are strong and resourceful enough to survive the worst hardships, yet remain focused on what they perceive their responsibilities to the all-but-decimated human race to be. Each woman in concerned with preservation ¿ of culture, of education of the young, of souls ¿ and will whatever they feel they have to, even sacrifice themselves, to remain true to their purpose.The story drives forward suspensefully, switching back and forth in time until the past catches up with the present. The main flaw is that it is presented too straightforwardly. The religious group, represented by the clearly power-mad Miriam and the ineffectual Jeremiah, seems to
coolpinkone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting book. It is not my "type" of genre in the sense of "last of earth's survivors." I did enjoy the book preservation aspects. A little too gloomy for me. But the writing was pretty good.
LamSon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of a group of post nuclear war survivors. It's told from the point of view of one of the two original occupents of the farm now occupied by a group religious zealots. Mary Hope is telling her life experiences to one of the young people in hopes that he will keep the quest for knowledge alive. Mary and her friend Rachel have gathered books and created a storage place to preserve them for the future. Mary finds a survivor from a religious community and then returns with him to their compound. Mary will not comform to their dogma and returns to the farm. Eventually remnants of the religious group make their way to the farm. Dogma and independence again clash with stored books at the center.This book was hard to get into at first, but it ended up being a very compeling story. It makes one think about how drastic life would change following such a catastrophe and how quickly civilization would descend into another dark age.
Emidawg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two survivors of a nuclear apocalypse and plague, Rebeca and Mary, realize that their collection of books may be the last bastion of human knowledge left in the world. They set out to preserve their treasure, but everything changes when an explorer from a colony of religious fundamentalists arrives. His coming leads to a clash between religion and science leading one character to do almost anything to destroy the books that challenge her biblical view of the world.A good read for anyone that loves books and knowledge, some however, may be put off by the slightly negative depiction of religion.
tess_schoolmarm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written and detailed novel about the post-apocalyptic age. It doesn't deal with the technicalities, just the general struggle of a few very interesting, beloved characters and the difficult choices they had to make. The tale did not stun me, but the words are breathtaking. Also, each chapter begins, befittingly with a quote from a famous persona that speaks to the events. This is by far one of the best books I have read EVER.
Magatha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautifully detailed description of a post-apocalyptic world, with a vivid rendering of the Pacific Northwest, and the process of surviving as the last of the civilized world's creations is used up - antibiotics, soap, fuel, etc. I didn't much care for the underlying concept, though. Not the book-saving part, or even the scary fundamentalist religious part, but the assumption that of course the survivors will want to reproduce, and all fertile women will want to be impregnated by any fertile men. I'm not sure that would be my wish. I should go back and read Joanna Russ's "We Who Are About To...", which I think dealt with similar themes.
cstumbo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this years ago, remembered the plot and characters, but couldn't remember the title or author. Searched every used bookstore, Amazon, etc. and finally found it in my neighborhood used book store. Even better reading the second time around.
RL68 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book a lot. Not your typical post apocalypse story at all. Excellent character development made the story go really well. Kind of a heavy science versus religion theme comes through if that is going to bother you. I liked it. It seemed very real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A credible account though a little heavy handed in treatment imho.
LMar More than 1 year ago
This was such an exceptional book. WREN is a wonderful writer. I felt all the emotions that rachel and mary experienced.. I couldn't put the book down.  It was do exciting, I had to keep rrading to find out what happened next!  I wonder if Wren will write more books? 
ramSM More than 1 year ago
Very interesting read. Something to think about, the end. So many different views. The two women I admired. You have to act on what you believe.
Pam56PS More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and hope there are more
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my all time favorite book. I am able to re-read & still enjoy it which is unusual for me. I have a beat-up paperback that I never throw away -- when I've moved and needed to weed out as many books as possible I am never ever tempted to get rid of this one!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is among the very best books I can name. Masterfully and brilliantly, Wren speaks to all the dangers that have surrounded us always. Of all the advancements and wonders of mankind, there still and forever lingers ignorance and the arrogance of the religious. So much is laid waste in the name of God.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is moving and not just emotionally, it moves you through the cycles of the earth after its destruction. It moves you through the stages of human development in the darkest of times. What the two main characters do in this book, after a nuclear war, is what most book lovers would do if they were unlucky enough to survive. Their noble agenda is to save the books for the next generation. Their courage is tremendous and inspiring. Religious fanatics want to destroy them and their books. This author artistically portrays the suffering that animals, plantlife and humankind would suffer after a nuclear attack. It is sad yet inspiring. The earth does rejuvenate. Mankind though has a harder time. By the end of the novel our main character is a senior citizen weakened of body but strengthened of mind. She is the last hope for the freedom of the few surviving children's minds. If she fails, not only will the books she labored so hard to save be destroyed, everything mankind has accomplished and learned will be lost forever to the next generation. Human kind will regress to the mindset of the dark ages. The books symbolize more then just the written word. This is a powerful, well written story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some men will have trouble with this one. But, some men may find it difficult to believe two lone women could survive such a terrible world. Mary and Rachel are two such women. Regardless of their remarkable ability to create a small, relatively safe, self contained existence after 'The End of the World', their human psyche demands companionship. And off they go into what our world has become. I imagined myself as Rachel.