"Landry Park" Creates a Whole New World - The Missourian: Blogs

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"Landry Park" Creates a Whole New World

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Posted: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 12:57 pm | Updated: 4:50 pm, Wed Mar 26, 2014.

Bethany Hagen makes her literary debut with her novel "Landry Park." This dystopian book is already a hit among major publishers and reviewers alike. Set in the future of the United States, it examines the repercussions of a war with China and how the citizens of the U. S. would be affected. The novel also brings up issues regarding global warming and emissions. Hagen has some interesting ways to fix these problems. They may not be possible now, but the future holds all new possibilities that she uses in "Landry Park."

"Landry Park" focuses on Madeline Landry's growth as she realizes that she can no longer blindly believe in society. As a gentry, she is a member of one of the ruling families in America. Madeline is being forced to marry at seventeen so she can run the Landry estate, even though she dreams of going to the university.

Madeline learns that while technology has become more advanced, people's humanity has regressed into the feudal age. There are now distinct separations between classes. The most important, and least humane, is the creation of the Rootless who are comparable to the untouchables from ancient India.

In Hagen's novel, we see the Rootless's struggle for freedom, and Madeline's challenged point of view as a gentry who empathizes with the Rootless. As Madeline questions everything she has learned, she finds herself drawn to David Dana. With the rumors of war and rebellion spreading, Madeline and David find themselves at the center of the chaos. The question remains, will Madeline be true to herself?

When I started reading this book, I had high hopes and expectations because it came highly recommended. I am happy to agree with those recommendations especially because I love it when a new author succeeds. Bethany Hagen definitely succeeds with "Landry Park." The book was a joy to read, and I found many ways to connect it to my current life. Recently, we were studying India and other nations in religion class, and I found some of the attitudes portrayed in the book to be similar to those we were studying. It was truly interesting to read about how life as we now know could be reshaped into a new, and possible future.

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