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The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

I have always wanted to read a book about prisoner transport to Australia. It was basically a life sentence, but the option seemed to hold opportunity for those who had it. High risk, high reward. Brutal, but with some hope. A situation that may seem like the end of the world, but it could be a blessing in disguise, a way to escape the trap of society so many were stuck in, and do something new, something different-find something better in the unknown.


I’ve always thought leaving a place–a fresh start is one of the best things that could ever happen to someone, even if it doesn’t feel like that at the time. In my own writing I’ve toyed with the idea of what happens after the worst has happened–when you’ve reached the point where society gives up on you and declares you lost because I have my suspicions that is when things get interesting. Even good.


The story was rough, and there was one truly shocking moment that required a kind of jarring POV shift–but it worked. The story is told from Third Person Limited POV, hopping from different characters–and you’re settled into a pattern where you think these are the two characters, but then events necessitate a shift. It’s enough of a twist I won’t mention it here, it’s jarring but it works. I guess the lesson is you can introduce a different POV midway through the book, but it requires consideration, and perhaps a plot event to warrant it.






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