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Black Helicoptersby Blythe Woolston
Synopses & Reviews
A teenage girl. A survivalist childhood. And now a bomb strapped to her chest. See the world through her eyes in this harrowing and deeply affecting literary thriller.
Im Valkyrie White. Im fifteen. Your government killed my family.
Ever since Mabby died while picking beans in their garden — with the pock-a-pock of a helicopter overhead — four-year-old Valley knows what her job is: hide in the underground den with her brother, Bo, while Da is working, because Those People will kill them like coyotes. But now, with Da unexpectedly gone and no home to return to, a teenage Valley (now Valkyrie) and her big brother must bring their message to the outside world — a not-so-smart place where little boys wear their names on their backpacks and young men dont pat down strangers before offering a lift. Blythe Woolston infuses her white-knuckle narrative, set in a day-after-tomorrow Montana, with a dark, trenchant humor and a keen psychological eye. Alternating past-present vignettes in prose as tightly wound as the springs of a clock and as masterfully plotted as a game of chess, she ratchets up the pacing right to the final, explosive end.
"This brief but razor-sharp novel from Woolston (Catch & Release) is as unpredictable as the bomb strapped to the chest of the girl at its center, 15-year-old Valkyrie White. Raised in isolation in remote Montana, Valkyrie was four years old when her mother was killed tending the garden after black helicopters passed overhead. She and her brother are brought up by their father, who believes in being a free and free-thinking person, and who is happy to deliver violent messages for a price, such as targeting an 'activist' judge. It's a path that, following more tragedies, finds Valkyrie dressed as an ordinary girl, an explosive hidden beneath her hoodie, riding in a U-Haul truck headed out into the world. Valkyrie makes every word count in her narration, which makes sense coming from a girl who grew up with such rules as 'Never waste an opportunity to conserve resources.' The ambiguities and of-the-moment realism of Woolston's story muddy the lines between right and wrong, while giving provocative insight into the mindset of those who see modern government as an unnecessary evil. Ages 14 — up. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Blythe Woolstons first novel, The Freak Observer, won the William C. Morris debut fiction award. She lives in Billings, Montana.
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