|NC Mountains from Elk Knob State Park|
"Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
that sees into the bottom of my grief?
O, sweet my mother, cast me not away!"
from Romeo and Juliet
What if this picture was a lie? A complete fabrication? I happen to know it's not because I took it about a month ago. But in the world of Wool by Hugh Howey, it would be. In the world of Wool, nothing like this exists any more...and it is all our fault. Well, maybe not mine or yours specifically, but ours as a species. And, as it turns out, the world as we know it disappeared for the most sinister of reasons.
This novel was a reality replacer -- one of those books that you fall into and emerge out of hours, if not days, later. Once in a while, it's a relief to lose yourself in another place, another time, another world...to forget your own place, your own time, your own world, even if the replacement is not a desirable place to be. Depending on the replacement world, this kind of forgetting can make you wistful, inspired, thankful, hopeful, and maybe even cautious and aware in ways you haven't been before. A novel like Wool will make you pause and appreciate the sunset and savor the air you are still able to breathe. But it will also make you aware of how deeply human we all are and how much we rely on each other for our very survival.