Hi and welcome to FromBelgiumWithBookLove where it is my absolute pleasure to share with you an excerpt from The Forcing! Check out my review here if you missed it the first time around, but the long and short of it is that The Forcing is a riveting and suspenseful dystopian thriller / drama that proved very hard to put down. The story is both a reality check and completely absorbing fiction, speaking of cold harsh facts but also of love, endurance and hope. I had the best time with The Forcing, it truly is an incredible read, and if haunting dystopian tales are your bag, I know you will love it too.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for having me on the tour, and to Orenda Books for the excerpt.
Let’s have a quick look at the blurb first:
Civilisation is collapsing. Frustrated and angry after years of denial and inaction, a ‘government of youth’ has taken power in North America, and deemed all those older than a prescribed age responsible for the current state of the world, and decreed they should be ‘relocated’, their property and assets confiscated.
David Ashworth, known by his friends and students as Teacher, and his wife May, find themselves among the thousands being moved to ‘new accommodation’ in the abandoned southern deserts – thrown together with a wealthy industrialist and his wife, a high court lawyer, two recent immigrants to America, and a hospital worker. Together, they must come to terms with their new lives in a land rendered unrecognisable.
As the terrible truth of their situation is revealed, lured by rumours of a tropical sanctuary where they can live in peace, they plan a perilous escape. But the world outside is more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. And for those who survive, nothing will ever be the same again…
Okay! Are you ready? Here we go!
A Journey into the Past
In the beginning, God created man.
And it was pretty much downhill from there.
Of course, the descent took time, and there were many points along
the way at which it could have been slowed or reversed. We all
watched, fascinated, unable to look away, as day by day an unwanted
future became an unchangeable past.
I am not an historian. The bigger picture I will leave to others.
This is the story of how I came to be here, so far from what I used to
call home, and of those who shared my journey. I have tried to record
it faithfully, as truly as memory allows. Some moments remain as
indelible scars, despite my best attempts to forget. Others are fading
even now. And parts of the story, I fear, will never be revealed.
I have attempted to see some of what happened through the eyes
of my companions, out of respect for some, and in an attempt to
understand others. I hope I have done them justice and apologise if I
I admit to having started this tale several times over the years and
having given up every attempt. Each failure has its own story, too.
But now it is time. Perhaps it was watching my own children grow
up in this new and changed world, that has finally brought me to
the task, ending years of procrastination. Maybe it was the birth of
my first grandson.
At first, and for a long time, I simply needed to heal, to forget.
Years passed, a decade and another again. Slowly, with the turn of
seasons, the pain began to recede. I lost myself in the task of remaking
our lives, bending to the work of feeding my family, building this
stone and jarrah-plank house by the sea. Now I know that I will only
ever find peace in the places I least want to go.
For it is no exaggeration to say that I have crawled to the very edge
of the abyss and gazed down into the depths of Hell. I do not offer this lightly. I am a scientist, a teacher. Even now, in my old age, I
remain a rationalist, a determinist. But I know now that human
reality lies not in the physical, the solid stuff of the world, the bones
and tumours of our mortal bodies, but in the warped fabric of time
where our hopes and tortured dreams live.
In truth, I am running out of time. What once obeyed without
complaint now rebels. Joints ache, and old wounds throb with the
coming of the rains. Fatigue, once a stranger, is now a constant and
unwanted companion. Even simple tasks have become difficult, and
in my two grown sons I can see glimpses of the man I was, the same
man who carried and lifted and placed each of the stones in these
walls, whose hands cut and shaped the sturdy beams above me,
cleared the ground and planted the crops that feed us.
And so I must make this journey into the past, now, while I still
can. I hope this record will help my children understand the truth of
what happened and why things are the way they are, and why we
decided to bring them into such a world in the first place. Because it
was truth, or to be more precise a deficit of truth, that set us on this
path. A truth that remained hidden for far too long, ignored by some,
avoided by many, and actively concealed by a powerful few.
I will start back when we had finally begun to try to fix the problem,
after it was too late, and before we really knew what was wrong.
I still remember the letter that started it all.
Dying to know what happens next? Of course you are! No worries, The Forcing is out now, order directly from Orenda Books here.