Overdrawn

N.J. Crosskey. Legend, $15.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-78955-022-1
Crosskey (Poster Boy) uses this powerful futuristic novel to explore the ethics of a health-care system built on capitalism. Following the collapse of a socialist utopia, the New Church holds that staying alive too long is selfish, and big companies promote euthanasia of the elderly and sick in order to financially benefit the younger generation. But elderly Henry Morris is determined not to let his wife, Chloe, who has dementia, go gently—even though he can no longer afford her medication. Kaitlyn Thomas is a waitress facing a similar financial dilemma to keep her brother, Jack, on life support. The two protagonists meet by chance at the hospital and devise an unusual plan to help each other make money: as “sterilization and termination [are now] considered responsible and sacred,” babies have become both rare and extremely valuable on the black market. So Henry donates his sperm and Chloe agrees to carry the child to term to sell to rich would-be parents. Meanwhile, Henry’s scheming son, David, works to secure his inheritance, and a tragic revelation about Henry and Chloe’s daughter is slowly teased out. Examining ageism, ableism, and misogyny, Crosskey succeeds in showcasing the value of human bonds while dealing with illness, trauma, and bureaucracy. Agent: Emily Sweet, Emily Sweet Assoc. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 09/14/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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