-Last year I recommended an e-novel that a friend of mine was working on. It was called Within the Walls and actually was the first book of a trilogy. You can read my review of the first book here. This trilogy chronicles the life of Emilya Hoffman Bowes Brown—technological genius, collaborator in the newest wave of “tek” enhancements to hit the market, and creator of virtual vacations. In book one Emilya finds information that leads her on a journey to a community of dissidents who have chosen to live without technology, exposed to nature and the elements—something that was supposed to be impossible.
Book two, Breaking the Silence is the story of Emilya engagement with those people living outside the technological demands of the new world and talk about things like “faith” and “soul.” That disturbs her since her training suggests that humans are just biology and electricity. Complications pile up for Emilya as she tries to deal with aspects of love and friendship that defy her carefully constructed idea of what it means to be alive. Her life-long dependence on technology is shaken and with it the hope that we can achieve perfection and happiness in the safe, sterile environment technology provides. But how much is she willing to risk, and will the protectors of the technological world find her and expose her new-found friends.
I love the tale Dr. Bennett spins as Emilya continues her journey caught between the rigid world of technology and the calling of the transcendent. This is an engaging, thought-provoking, and deeply satisfying story of one woman’s struggle to define her life. I enjoy how Dr. Bennett, a professor of communications, exposes the constant battle between the relational life we all hunger for and the desire to find safety in fitting into social norms that undermine that very hunger. The application here goes far beyond technology and relationship, to the deeper issues of religion and faith. And what’s more she throws in a bit of Jacques Ellul’s ideas and writing as part of Emilya’s unfolding story.
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did. I look forward to how she wraps this all up in the yet-to-be-written third story in the trilogy.
Both books are available now by e-book or by printed copy, though the printed copies are in such small quantities that they are a bit pricey.