Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Dress Rehearsal Rag

25788213Orryn has a room of her own, a part-time job and, for the first time in her adult life, real friends. If not for her sister’s constant attempts to get her to spend time with her newborn nephew and her new roommate William’s unsettlingly pleasant company, she would be quite at peace. When Wardens, officers of the dreaded morality police, arrive in their rural neighborhood for a surprise inspection, the entire group is reminded that their safe haven isn’t as safe as they’d like to believe.

Dress Rehearsal Rag is the sequel to Going Home and continues to tell the story of Orryn and the others’ life at the commune.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Emma Lindhagen opens her main character up to the idea of hope and happiness in her novel, Dress Rehearsal Rag. In the future, where laws are strict and deviant behaviors are looked down upon, Orryn has lived in fear. Now, she has finally found somewhere safe in which to live and come to terms with her past. 

Orryn is a quite complicated character. She's secretive, unsure of herself, scared of being caught and labelled as a deviant, and confused. Orryn's past is scarred with memories of unaccepting parents and being convinced to give up her child. She keeps everyone at arm's length, terrified of anyone knowing her truths. Readers will empathetically and sympathetically connect with Orryn, even if they haven't experienced the same situations. The mental anguish of not being accepted is understandable, as is the heaviness that loss creates. 

This sequel easily continues from the first novella. Orryn is living in the commune with her sister and a few others, hiding their magic, and their different beliefs. But now the new baby has arrived and Orryn cannot go anywhere near him. Her own past interrupts her forming a connection with her nephew. Their fear of wardens becomes validated when they pay an unexpected visit to the commune. As Orryn's sister Thea, her partner Kella, and the father try to decide what is best for their future, Orryn finds herself having feelings for one of her housemates. With an open ending, anything could happen in the next installment. For surely, there must be more. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups


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