Lark Ascending

Algonquin. Sept. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781643751597. $27. SF
Lark is just a boy when the world comes to an end. He doesn’t remember the before times, but his “after” seems pretty good, growing up in a remote part of Maine with his parents, his friends, and the boy who becomes the love of his life—although their love has been outlawed by the reactionary forces that control this near-future United States. When Lark’s idyll is shattered, he and his family make a long, desperate trek to Ireland, where they hope to find refuge. By the time Lark completes that dangerous journey, he’s alone and grief-stricken. However, with the help of a good dog and a fighting companion who knows the lay of this new land, he finds a place where he can finally rest.
VERDICT The not-too-distant dystopia of House’s (Southernmost) latest becomes a vehicle for the author to tell a compelling story about a refugee crisis. Because House takes the story out of a contemporary context, readers can more easily empathize with the novel’s refugees rather than focusing on real-world quandaries.
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