What a fantastic finale to my reading for 2020!
Reading this book is a sensory experience – a wonderful story packaged as a gloriously illustrated personal diary.
Written in the first person (narrative, not diary entries). Piper recounts a 6 month period of her life when she transforms from a needy and dependent deaf teenager to a strong, independent young woman and social and environmental activist.
Set in Melbourne in the near future and under the guise of a supposedly independent prime minister, natural resources are scarce, including fuel, power and food, as a mega bio food corporation dictates policy for profit. Piper’s mother is the scientific face of the company but loses her job when the artificial food is making people sick. On the hunt for bike to use as transport, Piper meets Marley, a young man with a deaf mother who signs fluently and her life and destiny change.
The book celebrates diversity in multiple layers. Deafness is presented as normal for those who are hearing impaired. There are mixed and same sex couples, affluent and poor families, all coming together in the struggle to grow food to survive and in doing so, becoming communities rather than isolated individuals living in the same street.
On reaching the end of this immersive story you will come away with a deeper understanding of what it is like to be deaf and marginalised, independent home food production from soil enrichment to planting, and a little bit of animal husbandry. And hopefully, you will also take note of the world we live in and how rapidly we are heading toward a society much like Piper’s, where we are commercially driven and compelled to be consumers of packaged, reconstituted and artificial food, destroy nature, reduce access to public spaces and monitor communications.
Piper, a girl of the future, gets caught up in a movement and I hope that Future Girl becomes a movement too.
The author, Asphyxia, has an amazing website to explore and delve into her passions, learn more about Auslan and view her beginner courses and learn to sign; explore amazing art work and get a glimpse of a companion book on how to make your own journal.