Christine H's Reviews > The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
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's review
Nov 19, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: ya-lit
Recommended for: those dipping their toes in the pool of science fiction
Read in November, 2008

Who would ever have thunk it that I would read a science-fiction novel? Seriously. This genre is totally out of the ilks of books I read. In fact, I don't think I even know where the science fiction section is in Chapters. I cringed when I found out I had to read this book for my grade 9 English class because, although I had heard of it, I really stayed very far away from it on principle. And so ... colour me pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the simple but alluring plot and the various characters (some great, strong females whom my kids could applaud). Because Wyndham incorporates elements of mystery in his novel, too, each chapter ends with a cliffhanger leaving me wanting to read more. Plus, the plot was great fodder for class discussions about morality and the human condition. Despite the obvious religious allusions, I didn't find the writing too didactic, so I had no trouble swallowing Wyndham's commentary on society and our possible future. The novel was also really good at serving as a (very brief) introduction to WWII and nuclear warfare -- great real-world connections for my kids, especially in the age of technology in which we reside. There are so many quotable quotes that I kept running out of class time to discuss them! I may just end up reading THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS, also by Wyndham. Shocked? Me too. But it's good to be shocked now and again.

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