What would happen if global warming continued to the point where resistance to deadly solar radiation determined class and beauty? This is the future we encounter in Victoria Foyt's captivating new novel, (Save The Pearls Part One) Revealing Eden (Sand Dollar Press, Inc.).
In this world, the darkest skinned people (the Coals) are prized and can survive much better than the fair-skinned (Pearls). Pearls are considered undesirable and go to great lengths to be more acceptable by covering their white skin with dark make-up.
Our heroine, Eden Newman, is 17 and running out of time. She is a Pearl and if no one picks up her mating option by her 18th birthday, she will be sent outside to die. Her father is a scientist working for a wealthy, charismatic Coal named Ronson Bramford. Bramford believes that Dr. Newman has developed the technology to save mankind by producing a super-being who can withstand the deadly environment and thrive.
Eden is working in the lab when we meet her. Her mother has died and she is not very close to her father as he is consumed with his work. She desperately hopes a Coal, named Jamal, who seems to be very interested in her, will pick up her mating option before it is too late.
What happens next is page-turning suspense when Eden unwittingly compromises her father's experiment and is forced to escape with Bramford and her father to the last patch of rainforest. There, the love story between Eden and Bramford turns unexpectedly as each is surprised by the other's true character, neither living up to built-in prejudices, even about their own kind.
Eden is smart, funny, feisty and fearless. Ronson Bramford is her Rhett Butler and we watch them fight and fall in love all while they deal with "The Heat," humanity's probable demise, and the experiment that may allow humans to adapt. While reading this I felt like I was watching an Avatar type film. It's very visual and futuristic with a tender love story at its core.
Foyt covers interracial issues, what beauty means culturally, and environmental destruction, all while entertaining the reader with one twist after the next. Although the book is young adult/fantasy/sci-fi/romance, I, as an adult who mostly reads non-fiction, loved it!
I sat down with Ms. Foyt to chat about her new book and life in general.
Q) Why did you write this book?
A) I wanted to entertain while at the same time touching on issues that are important to me. I never felt like I fit in as a child and the Eden character is very much like me in that way. I suspect that most people feel that way, no matter what their color or station in life is.
Q) What message do you want people to take away from this book?
A) That we have to stop judging each other by outward appearance. If we want to survive we must realize that we are essentially all the same. Otherwise, the cycle of hate and repression will simply continue.
Q) This book is the first in a series. Do Eden and Bramford get together in the next book?
A) Eden grows and adapts in the sequel in ways that surprise her, and me. She's forced to push herself and Bramford beyond their limits -- maybe a good thing in any relationship.
(Save The Pearls Part One) Revealing Eden will be available at www.savethepearls.com starting November 5th 2011. It will be released on Amazon and at other booksellers on January 10th.