cover image Before She Sleeps

Before She Sleeps

Bina Shah. Delphinium, $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-88-328576-0

Nuclear war and disease have ravaged the world in this haunting dystopian thriller from Pakistani author Shah (A Season for Martyrs). In Green City, capital of the Sub-West Asia Region, the few remaining women have become breeding commodities forced to have multiple husbands. Despite repression, some women rebel and found an alternate community, the Panah. These women go out at night, hidden under veils and covered in gold powder preventing their DNA from being detected on scanners, to provide nonsexual intimacy to high government officials, who crave being held. Among the rebels are Lin, kidnapped when she was seven by an aunt who groomed her to become the Panah’s ruler, and Sabine, who seeks refuge from Green City after her father arranges an undesirable marriage for her. Reuben Faro, the head of the governmental ruling body, is in love with Lin. He protects the Panah, aware that he will be punished severely if discovered. Lin, Sabine, and Reuben become enmeshed in perilous and treasonous conduct that draws in innocent bystanders. Will the three survive? Fans of The Handmaid’s Tale won’t want to miss this one. [em]Agent: Jessica Wollard, David Higham Assoc. (U.K.). (Aug.) [/em]