Glory O'Brien’s History of the Future

A. S. King

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future
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Glory O'Brien’s History of the Future

A. S. King

Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities - but not for Glory, who has no plan for what’s next. Her mother killed herself when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way…until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future.

From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions - and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying. A sanctimonious new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything, hoping her notes will help people understand how misguided and extremist behaviour in the present will snowball into dire consequences. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

A.S. King’s newest offering is a masterful portrayal of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last - a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Review

A.S. King is practically a genius when it comes to writing YA fiction. Her characters are complicated,conflicted and faced with impossible situations – and yet they feel utterly real. Glory O’Brien is all this and more.

When Glory and her best friend, Darla, drink the dust from a petrified bat one strange night, they can suddenly see the past and future of a whole family tree just by looking at a person. Glory sees a future of war, terror and death, and a past not too dissimilar. She decides to document it in case it really happens, to write a ‘history of the future’. But this is merely a distraction from the drudgery of high school graduation and Glory’s lack of commitment to her own future. She’s still trying to cope with her mother’s suicide from 13 years before, her father’s refusal to leave the house ever since, and the strange relationship they have with Darla’s family in the commune next door. How Glory copes with it all is a crazy, life-affirming journey that is an utter delight to read. Highly recommended for readers aged 13 and up.


Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Carlton.

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