Author: Liz Jensen
No. of Pages: 293
First Released: August 2009
Synopsis: Gabrielle Fox is an art therapist assigned to attend Bethany Krall, a sixteen-year-old girl who brutally murdered her mother. Still struggling to adjust to her own emotion and physical damage wrought on her by a horrific car accident, Gabrielle faces a patient who is not only manipulative but also prone to predict natural disasters with uncany precision. Gabrielle must decide the truth behind Bethany’s predictions as she faces a world on the brink of an apocalypse.
Comments and Critique: From the opening paragraph, I was instantaneously sucked into Liz Jenson’s not-so-future world. The entire book is both fascinating and terrifying. Gabrielle’s personal tragedy is horrific, and the reader struggles through her emotional swings along with her. Having literally lost almost everything and having had to start her life anew, Gabrielle is so emotionally and physically fragile that a reader feels compelled to protect her. Bethany, even though wild, crass, rude, and insane, also evokes a need to protect as Gabrielle learns more and more about her story and her reasons for murdering her mother.
But Gabrielle’s and Bethany’s relationship is the mere backdrop of this story. For Bethany, thanks to her shock therapy, sees visions – disturbing visions of meterological and geological disasters. These visions also have a disturbing habit of occurring exactly when she says that they will occur. This book becomes more than the story of a patient and her counselor but becomes the ultimate showdown between earth and mankind.
I’ll admit that I wasn’t prepared for the environmental warnings that this book evokes. Ms. Jensen admits in her acknowledgements that the final global warming story probably will not happen, but that it does remain a possibility. The fact that she wrote the book to take place at least ten years into the future, and she mentions enough situations and global occurances, both environmental and political, that are happening as I type this immediately increases the plausibility of the story.
Ms. Jensen’s writing is so picturesque and realistic that I personally had to catch my breath every now and then. I was compelled to read further to find out how the story ends, how Bethany is connected to the natural disasters and so forth, but the pain, trauma, and emotional fragility of both Bethany and Gabrielle are so strong that it hurts. Add to that a very bleak picture of the not-so-distant future, and it’s no wonder I had to take a break every now and then.
Through it all, I remained completely captivated by Bethany and Gabrielle and haunted by the story in general. This is a great read with which to consider the consequences of our current actions in regards to the environment, global warming, and political upheaval. I will definitely be recommending The Rapture to others!
Thanks to Random House for this ARC!