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FREE BEAST

An atmospheric, dystopian novel that will move you.

Years from now… A government that controls its citizens with an invisible hand. Pollution that suffocates an old, grand city. A population mired in escapism as they struggle to survive. Smoke screens of propaganda to shield its politicians. All the devastating secrets that yearn to see the light of day. And a young, intuitive woman who knows what the government wants to hide.

Would you risk it all to do the right thing or turn the other way when confronted with an ugly truth? What does it mean to construct a meaningful life with what you've been given?

A mesmerizing, ethereal tale of betrayal, love, and self-determination, FREE BEAST explores one woman’s search for voice, destiny and the truth in a forsaken world.

A profound book for those who are intuitive and love a touch of the poetic.

Genre:  speculative / dystopian / literary / mystery

Note from the author:

Thanks so much for considering my book! I appreciate it. If you liked The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood or Never Let Me go by Kazuo Ishiguro, you might like this one. It follows a young woman’s journey in a dystopian world as she attempts to unravel a mystery she encounters.

The writing is poetic at times, the plot follows a mystery, and an intuitive character attempts to find her voice. Without giving too much away, I wanted to explore the psychological effects of oppressive pollution and government while revealing a mystery.

I like to write fiction that explores the hidden side of life, whether in a dystopian setting or current reality.

AUTHOR'S NOTE (SPOILER ALERT)

Spoiler alert! The message below discusses broad themes that allude to prominent events in the novel.

Thanks so much for reading my book!

I sincerely hope you enjoyed experiencing Eloisa’s journey, one which I felt a yearning to create. It all began with a thought about a sensitive, young woman who wanted to find her voice, and it grew into a story about creating a life out of what’s been given to you, no matter how good or bad.

I wanted to explore the themes of how the poor and wealthy have different perspectives, what it means to become a woman, trauma and how to move beyond it, and feeling left behind when everyone’s moved on. I also wanted to explore the role of pollution in the future – not just its physical effects, but also its corrosive emotional wounds.

If you have time, could you please write a review of this book on Amazon? Reviews help independent writers by improving visibility and providing testimonials so others can decide if the book is worth their time.

Thank you, Suzanne

SELF-REFLECTION / BOOKCLUB QUESTIONS (SPOILER ALERT)

Spoiler alert! The questions below allude to prominent events in the novel.

In FREE BEAST, the government manipulates media and journalism. Do you think our government influences or manipulates media and journalism?

Jamie comes from a wealthy, prominent family and Eloisa’s family is of poor means. What are some things he will never understand about those in Eloisa’s place in society? And what are some things she will never understand about those with Jamie’s background?

Eloisa is in her mid-twenties and wonders when she’ll feel like a woman instead of a girl. She wonders what actually makes a woman. Is it a purely physical thing after one has passed puberty? Or is it a mental or spiritual thing? Or is it a matter of having the trappings that society deems “grown up”? In your words, what does it mean to be a woman?

The mysterious Dr. M’s intentions are unreadable, even for someone as intuitive as Eloisa. How do you think he sees Eloisa?

Sometimes life throws you into situations not of your asking. If you were to uncover illegal, horrifying wrongdoings, how much would you risk to expose it? There are no right or wrong answers, just something to think about.

Eloisa regrets that her mother never shared the wisdom in the notebook with her. She wonders why and sees her mother as a person with strengths and flaws, not just a mother. Have you experienced this with your parents? What did you learn about them?

Out of all the lessons in the notebook, which do you agree with and which do you disagree with? Which ones are easiest for you? And which ones are most difficult?

Eloisa realizes that she relies on those in her life to fill voids. She looks to Dr. M as a sort of father figure, and she looks to Jamie to help relieve her melancholy. Have you or do you look to others to fill voids? And how appropriate or inappropriate is it to do this?

What is the role of torture in this story? Have you ever felt trapped, dominated and hopeless in your life? If yes, what was the situation and how did you get out of it?

In the safe house, Eloisa attempts to heal after undergoing a traumatic time. How does she do this? What have you personally done to heal after trauma?

Eloisa uses her innate intuition to help her cope and get a sense of others. How strong is your intuition? How can you make it stronger?

Would you have gone back to the city to print and circulate the flyers? Or would you have tried to build a new life in the new state? There are no right or wrong answers, just something to think about.

Thinking about your life and your choices, what or who do you answer to?

What did you like about this novel? What did you not like?