One night a boy who comes to be called Thomas Parry is taken from his family, caught up in a comprehensive unraveling of what had been a united kingdom. Reacting to their country’s inexorable decline into consumerism, turpitude, racism, and violence, the powers that be establish four independent republics based on the perceived nature of the citizens assigned to each. These new partitions are reinforced with concrete barricades and razor wire.
Renamed, relocated, and granted favored status, Thomas enjoys one success after another until, working as a devoted civil servant, he suddenly falls out of the system entirely.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Divided Kingdom|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Divided Kingdom|
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I was told to wait on the road outside our house. Rain drifted past the street lamp, rain so fine that I could hardly feel it. I watched as a soldier fastened a strip of cloth around my upper arm. My shadow bent where it fell across the kerbstone, like a piece of cardboard folded in two places.
They put me in the back of a lorry, along with people of every age, all of whom wore armbands, none of whom I recognised. No one spoke, or even moved. I remember no violence, only the silence and the constant, weightless rain.
From where I was standing, by the tailgate, I could see my parents. They hadn’t had time to dress properly. My father wore pyjamas, a suit jacket and a pair of slippers, and his face had lines and creases on it, as though sleep had crushed him in its fist. My mother’s feet were bare.
My mother’s feet . . .
And her blonde hair flattened slightly on one side where it had rested against the pillow. She was calling my name in a high, strained voice, and reaching out to me, her fingers clutching at the air. Embarrassed, I turned away, pretending I didn’t know her. I smiled apologetically at the people all around me.
“I’m sorry,” I said.
That’s how my memory begins.
No, not my memory. My life.
When dawn came, I was standing on a railway platform. The sky had clouded over, a swirl of white and grey above the rooftops, and there were puddles everywhere. A goods train ru...