Every winter, we face the possibility of life without technological support for a few days. Power outages happen. It’s best to be prepared. In the rural countryside, we have advantages: outdoor water pumps, wood stoves, and canned produce to last into the springtime. So, I often feel a little smug when a storm warning flashes. Like an idiot, I think that I’ll be all set for whatever comes. But reality is a tough teacher. Pride goes before a fall.
My addiction to technology has not lessened over the years. I’ve had to admit that it isn’t simply food and water that keeps my body and soul together. Being able to communicate with family, stay in touch with distant loved ones, plan ahead, and greet each day with a sense of purpose makes my life worth living. And there is the rub. Today’s world is dependent on technology for information, communication, medical assistance, and a host of other necessities. Add the fact that our modern communities are fractured, families broken, and individuals isolated means that old-world solutions are not ready at hand.
In Homestead, survival isn’t merely about food, water, and shelter, though those are of primary importance at first. The story revolves around a stay-at-home mom, Rosie, who must battle unrelenting fears for her husband and her children, and face worldwide hardships, community crises, and personal loss without the latest and greatest in keep-yourself-sane life hacks offered online.
I initially wrote the story as a series for Kindle Vella, but it quickly evolved into a self-discovery story materializing within a science fiction apocalypse. I soon turned it into a full-fledged book. In truth, all good fiction reveals something new to the author, as well as to the reader. This story did more than that. It enlarged the way I think about technology and the purpose of my life.
Like Anne in Last of Her Kind, Rosie has to stake her moral ground and strive to become the best version of herself while new opportunities arise in a technology-free world. Unlike Anne, Rosie discovers that she isn’t the hero of her own story. And that’s a revealing possibility in a world where humanity is fast discovering that our materialistic successes haven’t always led us where we really want to go. As one mom recently explained to me—the modern woman’s role can be a bitter pill to swallow and almost impossible to keep down.
What has humanity learned in the last two hundred years, moving from horses and carriages to trains, to rocket ships? Does going farther faster make us happier? Has instant communication brought us in better touch with our kids? Is advanced medical technology offering something better than suicide? If so, why is the suicide rate rising, kids despairing, and honest conversation all but impossible these days?
Fiction often reveals what we don’t want to see but stares us in the face every day. The mystery of who we are and what we are becoming either draws us forward, knocks us to our knees, or buries our souls in despair. We have to stop and consider our lives to understand our response.
After creating the eBook, paperback, and hardcover versions of Homestead, I was lucky enough to discover a fantastic new narrator in the person of Madrid Castillo. Young and willing to learn, she dove into the project, undisturbed by the fact that she had never produced an audiobook before. It took a lot of work, retakes, and a huge amount of patience, but her work proves her skill and development. Genius has to start somewhere. And we all need someone to believe in us. I believed in her, and she rewarded me well.
The latest scientific advancement reports I peruse online make me wonder if the lesson that Rosie and her family learned would be good for us to consider. After all, if technology isn’t taking us where we really want to go, shouldn’t we stop and think before we forge ahead?
A. K. Frailey is the author of 17 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
Make the most of life’s journey.
For books by A. K. Frailey check out her Amazon Author Page
“Rosie, the narrator of this unusual apocalyptic tale, is a relatable stay-at-home mom struggling to provide food, shelter and a modicum of stability for her family in the midst of a global shut-down that is far more sinister than first supposed.” ~S. Pierzchala
Highly imaginative and intelligently executed, Last of Her Kind is a spellbinding science fiction that is rich in imagery, rippling with conflict, and peppered with deeply moving scenes. ~Cristina Prescott, The Book Commentary