Two American families in the not-so-distant future decide to flee the country because of the passage of an amendment limiting religious freedoms and the equally disturbing deteriorating moral fabric of their everyday lives. In the process, other “believers,” who also have been marginalized by the system, join them. However, the challenge for this ragtag group of believers, in the end, is to learn to tolerate each other and to appreciate each other’s differences. Their journey is fraught with narrow escapes, imprisonment, and danger at every turn. Because of the “bio-chip” that many believers refuse to have implanted, their antiquated and restricted options for transportation further impede their travel. With the help of divine providence, they escape adverse weather, over-zealous authorities, dangerous cults, and the threat of separation. Their final voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, reminiscent of the early pilgrims, culminates in another landing on the shores of “a new world”.
Zann Renn was born in the 1960’s and grew up in a small Indiana town. The budding author was brought up in a Christian family, where the creative atmosphere included music and lively discussions that were the norm. Renn attended a liberal arts college for undergraduate work in English, and graduated with a Master’s Degree in English from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. The author is married, has two grown children, and lives in a rural area near Nashville, TN. Renn’s major enjoyments include family time, walking in the woods and making music with friends.
Zann Renn’s debut novel, Away From, tells the story of a future United States in which everything, except Christian beliefs, is tolerated. All public thought and speech is closely monitored by the government, yet perversity is the norm and seen as less a threat to society than the church. It is a chilling look at what our country could become. It is also a novel in which the faithful and persecuted few decide to start a new life of freedom in another land — kind of a futuristic Pilgrim story.
The first chapter of Away From starts strong with the description of the Tolerance Amendment that is anything but tolerant. Unbelievable, yet very believable given the way our country is going. However, what started as a great premise never really materialized for me. I had problems with a number of things — poor editing, characterization and plot development among them. I also had problems with the profanity that was used and descriptions of sexual acts, one of which was so perverse that it turned my stomach. Please know that I usually have trouble writing negative reviews. These things are very subjective. But in the case of Away From, I want my readers to be fully aware of material that they may find objectionable. With that being said, there are many favorable reviews on Amazon, so check them out HERE.
(Thanks to Bozeman Media for a review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)