Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Fox Inheritance by Mary Pearson

Once there were three. Three friends who loved each other—Jenna, Locke, and Kara. And after a terrible accident destroyed their bodies, their three minds were kept alive, spinning in a digital netherworld. Even in that disembodied nightmare, they were still together. At least at first. When Jenna disappeared, Locke and Kara had to go on without her. Decades passed, and then centuries.
Two-hundred-and-sixty years later, they have been released at last. Given new, perfect bodies, Locke and Kara awaken to a world they know nothing about, where everyone they once knew and loved is long dead.
Everyone except Jenna Fox.

I read The Adoration of Jenna Fox years ago, and loved it. Mary Pearson is a genius! Her books always have such depth, which is what I love most about her work. There is so much to love in The Fox Inheritance: forgiveness, guilt, avoidance, acceptance, change, and letting go. Pearson introduced the concept of darkness in people, and how it’s not the darkness itself that makes us bad, but how we choose to deal with it. Violence vs. mercy. Calculating, one-track minds vs. compassion and willingness to listen. Absolutely stunning.

In The Adoration of Jenna Fox, we learn that a car accident occurred, setting the whole story in motion. In The Fox Inheritance, we find out more about that accident, and we’re in the head of Jenna’s friend, Locke. Locke’s and Kara’s consciousness ends up spending 260 years in some sort of computer storage before they are given bodies and educated about the new world around them.

I absolutely loved how Pearson managed to take us back to the accident, and at the same time set the story 260 years after it happened. Locke seems simultaneously stuck back in his native time period, and yet also stuck in his new one. As a result, he has a very difficult time doing more than going through the motions of living, which isn’t how he’d lived his life before the accident.

Slowly, he learns to open his eyes to the reality of his new world and begin to deal with the things churning inside of him. In the process, he learns that some people aren’t who he thought they were, both in good ways and bad. It becomes an empowering experience for him, learning his strengths and weaknesses and setting himself on a path to discovering who he is now. Much like a normal adolescence, and yet it couldn’t be more different. Brilliant!

If you get a chance, definitely pick up a copy, and then re-read it a few times. There is plenty of fantastic subtly and subtext to explore here.

8 comments:

khashway said...

Wow, that time leap sounds difficult to pull off. Pearson must be a great writer to do that well.

Tabitha said...

She's one of my favorite authors. I've got nearly all her books. :) One of these days, she'll make it to my neck of the woods for a signing and I'll bring them all. I just hope it doesn't kill her hand. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Oh, is this finally out? I loved the first one. Pearson's writing style is so easy to read, while at the same time so evocative. Love it.

Thanks for the review!

Tabitha said...

Yes! It came out this week. I loved this book, but it is very different from the first book. Pearson has said this is more of a companion novel then a sequel, and I think that description fits.

sheldelisle said...

I love Mary Pearson too and really want to read The Fox Inheritance, but probably need to re-read The Adoration of Jenna Fox first. :)

Tabitha said...

I'm not sure you need to. I didn't, and I followed the story just fine. It's more of a companion than a sequel, so it's kind of a brand new story with a couple established characters from a previous book.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox and am so glad to see another book about her is out. Can't wait to read it. Nice review.

Christina Farley said...

OMG! I didn't know there was a sequel. Yeah! I must read it. So glad you chatted about it.