The Collective

The Collective

The Collective
Lindsey Whitlock

Pushkin Children's Books

ISBN 9781782692171

Stuck in the traditional community of Badfish Creek, Elwyn longs for change. When his uncle offers him the chance to leave his rural roots behind, he jumps at the opportunity, eager to move to Liberty to gain an education and become part of a flourishing world. Finally, life seems to be opening up to him. But it is not long before he understands that all that glitters is not gold: there are things going on in Liberty that Elwyn cannot ignore. Things that profoundly threaten the world he has rejected and things that he has to fight against. The Collective is a richly realised debut novel about tradition, change, the meaning of home and the struggle to be true to yourself.

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Reviews

The Collective4/5

The Collective

Lindsey Whitlock

Review

Elwyn is torn. He is caught between his life at home in rural Badfish Creek and the thought of a new town and a new future in the busy city of Liberty. In Badfish Creek nothing much happens and Elwyn is keen to see what the real world holds. Surely it can only mean a brighter future? When his uncle offers Elwyn a chance to leave his old life behind, to move to Liberty, gain an education and become part of a new life, there's nothing to stop him going.

However, it soon becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Dazzled by the promise of a bright future, he has been blinded from seeing what is really happening. Elwyn must decide if he is going to act against the things he is witnessing, events that profoundly threaten the world he has left behind and will be called upon to fight against.

The Collective is a distinctive and unusual book, it's difficult to describe and difficult to explain but it is definitely a compelling read. You're not sure where you are, where the novel is set and at times exactly what's going on but don't let that put you off.

The narrative is intriguing, Elwyn is interesting and the themes of home, tradition and self-respect curious enough to keep you turning the page. Ultimately, this is one for your avid readers who want something a little more challenging than your average read.

256 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Lucy Georgeson, school librarian

Reviewed by: Lucy Georgeson