‘I wonder what we’ll do
with the people who aren’t
[ About the Book ]
Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that’s swept the country is all about perfection.
Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don’t measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted.
Elena tells herself it’s not about eugenics, not really, but when one of her daughters scores lower than expected and is taken away, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her.
But what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined…
[ My Review ]
Q is the second novel from the Sunday Times Bestselling author of VOX, Christina Dalcher. Q will be published April 30th with HQ Stories and is described as an’explosive new dystopian thriller‘ I would like to thank Harper Collins Ireland for my advance copy of Q.
When writing my review of VOX in 2018 I said it ‘is a book quite unlike any I have read before because the concept, while appearing far-fetched, is NOT completely beyond the realms of possibility’. In Q the concept freaked me out even more so because I fear that something like this could actually happen……because it did before.
‘I wonder what we’ll do with the people who aren’t necessary anymore?’
Christina Dalcher does not write fairytales. Her books, though fiction, open our eyes to the possibility of ‘What-if?’ In a society where dictators, leaders and egotists exist with warped ideologies and a righteous belief in their own power, one has to ask that question, one that at times could just as easily be ‘When?’
Q stands for quotient. Elena Fairchild is a teacher, married with two daughters, Anne and Freddie. Her husband, Malcolm, holds a senior government departmental position, with many of his stringent ideas now law. One mandatory law is that all members of society MUST undergo regular testing of their intelligence, including all the children. The theory behind this is that the correct standard of education will be given to each child. Every morning children get on buses with their painted colour an indication of the schools these children attend. No one wants their child on the yellow bus. Kids on the yellow buses are the least gifted. These children are sent to boarding schools further away, with limited visitation allowances for their parents. Society is marked, scored in every aspect of life, with unborn babies tested and allocated their potential Q scores to give the prospective parents ‘options’. Perfection is the aim in this new world. The gifted will thrive as children, and as adults. Procreation among the gifted is the ideal scenario, the encouraged scenario.
Elena Fairchild, believed in many of these concepts. She agreed with her husband on many topics in the early years, but now, with two children of her own, one who is gifted and one who is not, Elena has changed. When the yellow bus pulls up to collect her younger daughter Freddie, Elena knows that she needs a plan.
Her grandmother remembers back to a past she thought was well buried but Elena is unable to accept what her granny is trying to tell her. Surely her daughter will be safe? Surely the state would not harm these children? Elena realises the only way to find out is to follow her daughter. She makes the decision to fail her own Q test. She manipulates the paperwork, and ensures she gets on the yellow bus to Kansas to follow her daughter. What Elena discovers is reprehensible, disturbing, shocking. Can the powers that be really be enacting such a psychotic and heinous act?
Q is frightening. Eugenics is a concept that is part of our past but how many of us know much, or even anything, about it. Christina Dalcher had an objective in writing this novel…
“If the references in this novel disturb you, then I have done my job. Because these events are disturbing… Patriotism does not require turning a blind eye to the darker chapters of our country’s history; if anything, the opposite.”
– Christina Dalcher
Q is a very horrifying and provocative tale. It evokes many emotions with feelings of disbelief, horror, and anger all coming to the fore. There is a portentous gravity to this story, one that will deeply disturb and unsettle the reader. How dystopian is this story? How far into our imagination do we have to go to visualise this scenario? Very frighteningly, not that far.
Q is another thought-provoking read from Christina Dalcher. Like VOX, Q is a high-concept novel that encourages the reader to consider the what-if. It is a chilling read, a cautionary tale, one that will encourage the reader to delve deeper into the factual elements of the story. Can history repeat itself? Unfortunately I think it can…..
Chilling. Provocative. Portentous
[ Bio ]
Christina Dalcher is the Sunday Times bestselling author of VOX. She earned her doctorate in theoretical linguistics from Georgetown University. She specializes in the phonetics of sound change in Italian and British dialects.
Dalcher and her husband now split their time between the American South and Naples, Italy.
Q is her second novel.
Website ~ http://christinadalcher.com/
Twitter ~ @CVDalcher
*Q is released in US under the title Master Class*