The Lake at End of the World

Caroline MacDonald, Author Dial Books $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8037-0650-7
The end of the world is not a place but a time not too far in the future, a premise that is not as farfetched today as it would have seemed a decade ago. The world is practically dead, because its ecology has collapsed. At Redfern Lake, in Australia, preserved as a wilderness, live Evan Redfern, an ornithologist, his wife Beth and their daughter Diana. One day, Diana stumbles across a young man, Hector, escaped from a community that has lived for decades in a cavern deep below the lake, unbeknownst to Evan and Beth. The community's megalomaniac leader, the Counselor, had virtually kidnapped bright young scientists to found an underground utopia. Hector's narrative alternates with Diana's; at first, because Diana's thoughts are printed in italic, this looks confusing, but the device makes the story more immediate and the characters easier to identify with. When Beth falls ill and needs medicine, Diana and Hector brave the Counselor in his cavern and fall foul of his plot to destroy the lake. But all ends well, and when the Redferns are joined by many from underground, there's hope for humanity's survival and the earth's renewal. A satisfying work of future fiction. Ages 12-up. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
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