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Strange Deliverance by Mary Brown

Review by Jojo

The Characters
The story is told from Prettience - Pretty - and takes place around her friends, Tam, Sven, Lally, Bill and Ben. We also meet the Herb-Woman and her daughter, Perdy. Unlike Mary Brown's other books, there are no animal companions in this one.

The World
Not surprisingly, this is set on Earth, in the future. It's not immediate future, but it's not distant either. We start out in the beginning of the 2000s, though no actual date is given. Modern times, though the world is fraught with pollution and war is breaking out worldwide, collapsing our way of life. No reason is ever given, and in fact, it's not essential to the plot why it happens. Just, what happens after. Admittedly, I would have liked to have known more, but it wasn't necessary to the story.

The Plot
This is the kicker. There is no real plot. Things happen, over the years, to this isoluated village, to Pretty and her friends, and over time they realize something is horribly wrong with the Wilderness as they call it. Or, that's to say, there is not guiding plot. There are things that are important, such as overthrowing their mayor, who is going to be their downfall, and to help her friends, but this is more of a character driven book rather than a plot-driven.

The Grade
I really adore Mary Brown's books, and I think this adoration is what pulled me through this book. Truthfully, it has the feel of something that could have been expanded upon and given more depth, and I wonder if Mrs. Brown knew that she wouldn't have the time to finish it (sadly, she past away) and finished it up as best she could. I can only speculate but I feel strongly that that is the case. Or, at the least, that more books were planned to follow it and, obviously, cannot.

This doesn't tie in at all with the other books, though there are minor references to them, and therefore we know it's the same world, the same earth setting where Thing, Summer, and Sophie all lived.

I'm going to have to give this on three out of five amulets.

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