The year is 2042, and a long-predicted tipping point has arrived. For the first time in human history, the economic pyramid has flipped: The feeble old now outnumber the vigorous young, and this untenable situation is intensifying a battle between competing cultural agendas. Reporter Julia Davidson-a formerly award-winning journalist seeking to revive a flagging career-is investigating the growing crisis, unaware that her activity makes her a pawn in an ominous conspiracy. Plagued by nightmares about her absent father, Julia finds herself drawn to the quiet strength of a man she meets at a friend’s church. As the engrossing plot of FATHERLESS unfolds, Julia will face choices that pit professional success against personal survival in an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world.
In the dystopian tradition of books like 1984, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games, FATHERLESS vividly imagines a future in which present-day trends come to sinister fruition. The second and third books in the series, CHILDLESS and GODLESS, will follow at eight-month intervals.
Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised three U.S. presidents on family matters. Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, CO.
Kurt Bruner serves as Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Lake Pointe Church and on the adjunct faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary. A graduate of Talbot Seminary and former Vice President with Focus on the Family, Kurt led the teams creating films, magazines, books, and radio drama. As President of HomePointe Inc., he helps local church leaders create an ongoing culture of intentional families. Kurt is the best-selling author of more than a dozen books. Kurt and his wife, Olivia, live in Rockwall, Texas.
Fatherless, the first in a 3 book series by James Dobson and Kurt Bruner, is Page Turner’s March selection. We will be discussing this novel on Thursday. If you have read the book, we welcome your comments. So far, I have heard comments like weird and depressing from our members. How would you describe it?
Fatherless is a plot-driven dystopian novel. The setting is America in 2042. The trends of today — low birth rate, fatherless families, and more entitlement programs — have come to a head, leaving the United States with more elderly citizens than young productive workers. Embryonic selection is the norm, and those who are considered debits, taking more from society than they contribute, are encouraged to transition, a pretty-upped term for suicide. The future looks bleak, but there is still a remnant that views life as a gift from God, rather than a commodity.
Dobson and Bruner paint a rather dismal future. Men have abdicated their roles as provider and protector, children are seen as a drain on resources, and the elderly are viewed as a means to economic relief once they have transitioned. I found myself at times depressed and at others angered by the majority viewpoint of the society depicted in the novel. The end of the book is unfinished — there are 2 more books in the series — but there does seem to be a little hope promised.
Overall, I would recommend Fatherless. It is a good book for discussion and to get Christians to examine their beliefs and their role in the future. The characters are a bit stiff and the book takes a while to get going, but the subject matter overshadows these weaknesses.
(I purchased Fatherless for my book club, Page Turners. All opinions are mine alone.)
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